In 1955, Geelong Gallery loaned Collins Street and A bush burial by Frederick McCubbin to the National Gallery of Victoria for a retrospective of the artist's works.
Works on paper featured prominently in Geelong Gallery’s activity this year. Woodcuts and lithographs were acquired for the permanent collection, and a collection of prints was loaned by the National gallery of Victoria for the benefit of secondary school students in the Geelong region.
Among the year’s acquisitions were prints by Japanese artists Utagawa Hiroshige, Ichiyusai Kuniyoshi and Utagawa Toyokuni. These works are examples of ukiyo-e, a Japanese art form that literally translates to ‘pictures of the floating world’. Ukiyo-e are multi-coloured woodblock prints and paintings first produced during Japan’s Edo period, from the 17th-19th centuries, and which depict the fashions, tastes and lifestyles of the time.
Women were often the subjects of these prints, particularly performance artists like kabuki actors and geishas. Utagawa Toyokuni’s Geisha with shamisen depicts a Geisha holding a shamisen, a traditional Japanese three stringed instrument used to accompany folk performances.