With the 100th anniversary of Washington’s first cherry trees only six weeks away, on March 27, special exhibits and programs on sakura (cherry blossoms) are suddenly cropping up all over town. In late March the Library of Congress will open an exhibition of 54 prints and artworks from its collections that depict different scenes of cherry trees. The selections include watercolor drawings, Japanese woodblock prints, book illustrations, photographs, posters, postcards and editorial cartoons. I’ve posted a few enticing samples.
I find the woodblock prints especially beautiful. The artistic technique — with soft, rich coloring and stylized figures and landscapes — seems well suited to the delicacy and ephemeral nature of the blossoms, which in Japanese culture symbolize the shortness of human life. The exhibit runs from March 20 to September 15, in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill. Check here for more details.