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Letter: Outstanding Exhibit at the Hood

To the Editor:

One of the joys of living in the Upper Valley is having access to cultural opportunities such as The Women of Shin Hanga. My wife and I recently attended the free opening lecture and reception at the Hood Art Museum and then went back the next day to appreciate the exhibit.

It is extraordinary. The prints are a marvelous example of 20th-century Japanese art, combining tradition, social change and artistic skill in a combination that is accessible, yet subtle. Professor Allen Hockley talked about the social changes resulting in the “new prints,” but the combination of Judith and Joseph Barker’s collection along with the Hood’s permanent examples was really eye-opening. I have appreciated traditional Japanese prints for years, but seeing such a carefully chosen collection, selected by a couple equally involved with the art, was gratifying. I cannot decide whether Goyo or Shinsui was the greater artist; both were extraordinarily talented. And local artist Matthew Brown, also featured in the exhibit, continues this rich tradition. I even happened to have a chance to talk with Mr. Barker in the gallery. Their promised gift is a wonderful legacy to Dartmouth, its students and the community, both now and in the future. Do go and see the prints; they are wonderful.

Jonathan Vincent