Japanese Art Spikes in Popularity

Posted on 12/12/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

According to The Bridgeman Art Library, this holiday season has revealed a new trend: Japanese art has become third among the top five image categories sought by greeting card and other holiday product publishers.

London-based Bridgeman, which also has offices in Berlin, New York and Paris, is a 35-year-old image library that focuses on fine art, history and culture. It represents works owned by museums, galleries, private collectors and artists, licensing reproduction rights on their behalf.

During this holiday season, Bridgeman licensed over 200 images to greeting card producers. Traditional religious imagery, such as fine art depictions of angels, was the top seller. In second place was semi-religious works by contemporary artists, highlighting continued interest in original art among stock buyers.

Japanese art, a newcomer to the Bridgeman top-five list, took third place. According to the licensing agency, major greeting-card companies such as Hallmark and Paperchase licensed Japanese snow scenes and other similar artwork. One example is a late 18th-century color woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, the original of which is housed at London's Victoria & Albert Museum.

Founder Harriet Bridgeman said the past 30 years demonstrate a move toward secular imagery in holiday products. The trend is to celebrate the season, as opposed to one particular religion or its symbols. Scenes of London and comic or naïve works round out Bridgeman's top-five list of popular holiday themes, further confirming popularity of subjects other than religion.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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