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Exhibition of Historic Japanese Prints Opens at Widener University Art Gallery

The Widener University Art Gallery will present a new exhibition, Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido, from August 21 through October 20, 2012. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Organized by the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pa., the exhibition features 55 revolutionary wood-block Utagawa Hiroshige, 16th Station: Yuiprints by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) recording the scenic views along the famous "Eastern Road" that linked Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan. This popular series, known as the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road, was published in 1834 and established Hiroshige's reputation as the foremost artists of the topographical landscape.

The exhibition will also include selections of Japanese art of the same time period from the Alfred O. Deshong collection.

In 1832, Hiroshige journeyed along the historic Tokaido, visiting the 53 towns and villages that dotted the road, which provided lodging, refreshments and souvenirs for travelers. The route was traveled frequently by noblemen, merchants, religious pilgrims and tourists. Hiroshige stayed at these overnight stations and recorded numerous views of the surrounding landscape, towns and people.

Hiroshige was trained in the tradition of the ukiyo-e—"floating world"—wood-block print making. As a genre, landscape developed late in the ukiyo-e period and was greatly influenced by the prints of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).

The Widener University Art Gallery is located in University Center on 14 St. between Walnut St. and Melrose Ave. at Widener University in Chester, Pa. Gallery hours are Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Art Gallery is closed on Saturday, Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences and professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate's, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, PA, and Wilmington, DE, serve approximately 6,500 students. Visit the university's website,, for more information.