UM Japanese Professors Reveal Hidden World Behind Rare Prints in Lecture

March 17, 2014

MISSOULA – Assistant Professors of Japanese Brian Dowdle and Robert Tuck from the University of Montana Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures will co-present a lecture titled “Sex in the City: Images of Town, Country and Tradition in Edo Japan.” The lecture will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. It is free and open to the public.

The program is part of the exhibition at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture titled “The Japanese Woodblock Print: An Extension of the Impermanent,” which is on view through April 19 in the Meloy and Paxson galleries in the PAR/TV Center.

The exhibition includes historic Japanese woodblock prints from the MMAC Permanent Collection, as well as the George and Claire Louden Collection, on loan from the Carr Gallery of the Idaho Falls Arts Council and traveling through the Montana Art Gallery Directors Association. The prints on view date from four periods of Japanese printmaking: the height of color Ukiyo-e printmaking (1780-1868) through Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912) to a period of print revitalization called the Shin Hanga movement (1915-1940) and contemporary Japanese prints (1940-1970). They illustrate a wide range of subjects including Japanese folk tales, famous courtesans, Noh performances and Kabuki theater.

Also on view at MMAC are two rare Japanese Friendship Dolls from a historic American-Japanese exchange in 1927. Miss Tottori is on loan courtesy of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre and Miss Aomori is on loan courtesy of Alan Scott Pate.

Dowdle holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan and specializes in the literature of early modern and modern Japan. His research interests lie in the physical reception and reproduction of Edo-period texts and authors during the Meiji period.

Tuck holds a doctorate from Columbia University and his research interests focus on 19th and 20th century Japanese and Chinese poetry, print media and modes of literary education. He currently is working on a book project analyzing the relationship among poetry, print media and ideas of national language and literature during the late 19th century.

The MMAC’s hours during the academic year are noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The museum is open to the public with a suggested $5 donation. For more information call 406-243-2019 or visit


Note to media: Digital images from the exhibitions are available. Call Shawn Whitworth at 406-243-2019 or email to request images.



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Contact: Brandon Reintjes, curator of art, Montana Museum of Art & Culture, 406-243-2019,