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Ohara Koson (Shoson), Japanese, 1877–1945, Jungle Crows in Moonlight, color woodblock print, 1927. 15 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. Gallery 18, part of the free special exhibition For the Birds
Ohara Koson was a master of the kachoga print—images of the natural world, but particularly of birds and flowers. Over his career he produced more than 450 designs of birds. One of Koson’s favorite subjects, the jungle crow was revered in Japanese folklore as a messenger of the gods. Koson’s keen sense of design is showcased in this print with the black crows on a bare branch at the top of the composition arching across the silvery blue moonlit sky, balanced below only by the orb of the moon.
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