Chiura Obata 小圃 千浦

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) was an influential American artist who was born and educated in Japan. Obata taught at Berkeley from 1932 to 1954, a period broken only by his unjust internment during WWII. In 1930 Obata and the Japanese publisher Takamizawa published “World Landscape Series: America,” the groundbreaking effort which represents the apogee of woodblock printing in the 20th century. Each of the 35 prints in the series required between 120 and 205 separate hand printings, and some required 15 to 20 blocks just to replicate a single brushstroke. A five-city retrospective of Obata’s work concluded in 2020 at the Smithsonian American Museum of Art.