Noh Print Collection on Display at Villa Terrace Art Museum

Aug 27, 2014

Tsukioka Kōgyo, "Kumasaka" from "Nogaku Hyakuban," Woodblock print, 15x10 in.

An exhibit at Milwaukee’s Villa Terrace Art Museum casts a spotlight on one of the world’s oldest forms of theater -- Noh.

Noh Theatre in the Woodblock Prints of Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927) features a collection of over 50 unique Japanese woodblock prints that depict characters from Noh and Kyōgen theatre scenes in traditional costume.

The prints date back to the late 19th and early 20th Century, and are from the private collection of Richard and Mae Smethurst of Pittsburgh.

"Noh is the longest continuous theater in the world. It has performed from the 14th/15th Century A.D. on, without a break," Mae Smethurst says.

"One of the things I love about Japanese woodblock prints is the perspective, the creativity, the overlapping, the's very different from what  you see in Western art. It's just spectacular," curator Annemarie Sawkins says.

The exhibit is open through mid-October.