Home > Exhibitions > Current Exhibitions > Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books

The Cyrus Cylinder

Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books

April 6–August 11, 2013
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Woodblock-printed illustrated books became key sources of knowledge and entertainment in Japan during the Edo period (1615–1868). Working with renowned artists and authors, enterprising publishers produced compact, inexpensive paperbound volumes that were sold and circulated throughout Japan. With beautiful, intriguing, and entertaining subjects, books brought reading of words and images to the masses, creating a communication revolution similar to electronic media today. Highlights from the Gerhard Pulverer Collection now in the Freer Gallery of Art, including rare private editions and bestsellers such as Hokusai’s Manga sketchbooks, are shown together for the first time since the museum purchased the collection in 2007.

View the Ehon Sumidagawa ryōgan ichiran »



As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.