Art and Daily Life:  Modernism in the Picture Book
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Edo picture books and Japonisme thumbnail

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about this exhibit

Fifth in the Digital Picture Gallery series, “Modernism in the Picture Book: Art in Daily Life” shows some of the many important picture books produced in the short period between the end of World War I and the outbreak of World War II. These are books that vividly reflect the changes simultaneously taking place in various societies in the world at that time and the accompanying transformation in the way human beings viewed the things around them.

This was a period when new art movements emerged in different parts of the world, expanding the scope of the arts beyond their traditional boundaries and unfolding in ways directly connected with the daily lives of ordinary people and society in flux. In such a convergence of change, the picture book came to play an important role.

In Russia, in the throes of revolution and national reconstruction, the picture book became a channel of information explaining to people of the Soviet Union the ideas and systems of society. In the United States in the process of industrializing, photographic picture books sought to transmit the significance of the work and the workers who were involved in the building of industries and cities. The picture book was the stage in Germany for unprecedented experiments in education and storytelling and in Japan as a medium, mobilizing the talents of avant-garde artists, for educating children about the workings of society.

This fifth gallery tracks the ideals and hopes—short-lived as they were—placed in the progress of technology in building a happier future captured in picture book publishing in different parts of the world.



Narration and Readings / Asada Yukari, Bill Benfield, Oba Natasha

Music / Shinzawa Ken'ichiro (Composition and Piano)
Eric Miyashiro (Trumpet), Hiramatsu Kana (Violin), Kido Natsuki (Guitar),
Takase Hiroshi (Bass), Otsuki "KALTA" Hidenobu (Drums)

Narration Text / Oikawa Akio, Kitamura Hiroaki, Ueda Maniko, Shima Tayo
Commentary about the authors and the artists / Oikawa Akio, Matsuya Sayaka,
Morimoto Mami, Shima Tayo
Bibliography / Kano Kimiko, Matsuya Sayaka
Annotation / Kano Kimiko, Shima Tayo
Translation / Lynne Riggs, Takechi Manabu, Abe Kimiko, Ueda Maniko,
Kuwata Fumiko, Matsuya Sayaka, Shima Tayo

Reference and Source Materials/ James Fraser, Araki Mizuko, Shima Tayo,
Tokyo Children's Library, Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature
Copyright permission/ Adam Hoffmeister, Martin Hoffmeister,
Elen Pakhomova, Aleksandr Marshak, Iakov Marshak, Ada Lazo,
The Steinitz Family Art Collection
Ito Hiroko, Murayama Harue, Yasui Heita, Saito Tadashi,
Kubota Mantaro Memorial Fund Committee
Copyright cooperation/ Tanaka Tomoko, Matsuya Sayaka,
Oba Natasha, Sekizawa Akiko, Kato Seiji

Authoring / Shimokihara Yasuhiko
Calligraphy / Hirano Kouga. Design / Tomita Yukihiro
Recording Technician / Hanashima Isamu. Recording Assistant / Imazeki Kunihiro.
Photography / Horikiri Yasuro
Composition, editing and direction / Kitamura Hiroaki

Planning, composition and supervision / Shima Tayo
Production / International Library of Children's Literature


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The International Library of Children's Literature / National Diet Library


The International Library of Children's Literature / National Diet Library