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Hit the Beach

(June 2004) posted on Wed Jun 09, 2004

Museum of Fine Arts in Boston celebrates the Japanese postcard


click an image below to view slideshow

In the early part of the 20th century, reports the Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston, the postcard replaced the woodblock print as Japan's
artistic medium of choice. Many of Japan's leading artists created
stunning designs, experimenting with styles such as Art Noveau and Art
Deco. This past May, the MFA put on "Art of the Japanese Postcard," an
exhibit showcasing the art of cards such as To Tomita Beach,
above (1936, color halftone lithograph, 3-7/16 x 5-7/16 in., artist
unknown).

But MFA visitors could do more than just admire the designs--they
also could take these designs home with them, thanks to the museum's
ability to create fine-art prints entirely in house, from capture
through output. For fine-art prints of postcards such as
To Tomita Beach, the MFA's in-house digital imaging specialists
used three Epson 1600 flatbed scanners to digitize the images; the
museum also has one Creo Leaf Volare, one Creo Leaf Valeo, and two Sinarback 23 HRs,
but the scanners were the best solution in this case due to the number
of postcards being scanned (19,000 in all), their relatively small size,
and, in some cases, their metallic inks, says John Woolf, the MFA's
senior digital-imaging and photography specialist.

Final prints are output via the museum's Epson Stylus Pro 9600
printer at 1440 x 720 dpi with Epson UltraChrome pigmented inks and onto
Epson's acid-free UltraSmooth Fine Art Paper. The MFA offers three sizes
of prints, from 16 x 20 to 24 x 30 in., and can also process custom
orders. The prints are sold via the MFA's bookstore as well as its
website. Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity; framing. (Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston, www.mfa.org)


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