Japan’s First Railway: Colour woodblock prints from the 1870s

Date: 18 July 2011 – 30 September 2011
Venue: National Railway Museum, York

This exhibition in the National Railway Museum’s new art gallery is an unmissable opportunity to see these colourful and fascinating prints on loan from Japan’s Modern Transport Museum, Osaka. Produced over a brief period during the 1870s, the prints reflect the excitement surrounding the introduction of the railways to Japan in 1872. The opening of the railway line captured the imagination of the Japanese public and these low cost souvenirs were evocative of this. Hundreds of designs were produced which translated the modern western technologies of railways into a traditional art form, reflecting the merging of tradition and new technologies that would make Japan such a successful modern nation.

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