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Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection


What's online?

The Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection contains 126 wood block prints. While the earliest print dates to 1760, most of the prints were produced in the 1800s, while others were created in the 1900s. The work of over forty artists is represented in the collection. The images selected for digitization constitute a significant portion of the total collection.

The descriptive information for the online collection includes notes on series, publisher, provenance, and if the print was signed by the artist. Where this information is known it is displayed. When an item is comprised of two or more plates, each plate was scanned separately; this is indicated with the designations of the plate number followed by an a, b, c, etc.

What's in the entire collection?

The images portray Japanese culture through detailed depictions of portraits, landscapes, wildlife and theatrical performances, taking into account some of Japan’s rich history. A small quantity of prints depicting Chinese scenes is also part of the collection.

Images range in size from that of a small greeting card to poster size. The smallest measures 4 x 6 inches and the largest 9 x 30 inches. The accompanying descriptive text includes the Japanese term for the approximate paper size: Aiban tate-e, Aoban tate-e, Chuban tate-e, Chu-tanzaku, Dai-oban tate-e, Hashira-e, Hosoban, Kakemono-e, Koban, Koban Tate-e, Oban tate-e, and Oban yoko-e.

The work of over forty artists is represented in the collection. The earliest print, dating to 1760, is by Kitao Shigemasa (1739-1820) and depicts a carp leaping a waterfall. The works of several artists of the Utagawa school are found in the collection. While there is a broad representation of artists, it is interesting to note the significant number of pieces by a select few.

The Rosensteel Collection is located in the Special Collections Department of the University Library System, where all of the original prints are available for research and scholarly study. It complements the holdings of the East Asian Library, a collection of over 400,000 volumes, which makes it the 14th largest East Asian collection in North America. It also complements the Walter and Martha Leuba Collection , which contains several twentieth century Japanese woodblock prints.

About Barry and Elizabeth Rosensteel

Born in 1955, Barry Rosensteel is a native of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. His family has a long association with that region, dating back over two hundred years to some of the early settlers. For example, through his mother’s side of the family, he is a descendent of Henry Beeson, who founded nearby Uniontown in 1796. Mr. Rosensteel’s wife Elizabeth was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and later lived in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, with her family. Barry and Elizabeth met on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in 1974, two years before Mr. Rosensteel graduated from Pitt.

After having planned and overseen the development of real estate ventures for Fortune 100 corporations throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Mr. Rosensteel formed his own real estate development and consulting group. He is presently managing director of PRIN Investments Real Estate Group located in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Rosensteel has a history of buying and selling works of art. As a hobby he operates Rosensteel Galleries, which enables him to maintain close contact with artists whose works represent a variety of creative talents.

Mrs. Rosensteel attended Boston University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. With the exception of a brief five years as the first elected principal of Taliesin Architects, Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio and school, Mrs. Rosensteel has owned her own interior/architectural design firm, Elizabeth A. Rosensteel Design Studio, specializing in 12,000–30,000 sq. ft. custom designed homes and commercial/hospitality projects.

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