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Cosmic Cities, Grand Canyon of Arizona


A woodblock print of a single tall brown mountain, its peak streaked with snow and base dotted with blue, over a background of deep blue sky and lined with clouds.

Katsushika Hokusai, South Wind, Clear Dawn, from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, ca. 1830-1832. Woodblock print: ink and color on paper, sheet: 9 7/8 x 14 3/4 in. Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Mary and Allan Kollar, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2010.15.

Part of the American Arts and Crafts movement, which translated natural forms to create ornate decorative patterns and motifs, artist Arthur Wesley Dow applied Japanese design principles of flatness, blocks of color, and simplified shapes that he saw in woodblock prints by Hokusai at the Boston Public Library and Museum of Fine Arts to his landscape paintings like Cosmic Cities, Grand Canyon of Arizona.