Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > East Asian Collections > 36. Fukuda Bisen

36.  Fukuda Bisen (1875-1963).  Chūgoku sanjū emaki. Watercolor, (49 cm. x 1219.2024 cm.), Scroll 2 of 30, 1949-1959. C. V. Starr East Asian Library

The Japanese artist Fukuda Bisen twice painted a thirty-scroll series on Chinese landscapes, only to have the first set destroyed in the great Tokyo earthquake of 1923, and the second by the bombing of Tokyo in World War II. By chance, another painting by Fukuda was accidentally noticed and admired by General D. D. Eisenhower, then President of Columbia University. The artist was inspired to redo his series, which depict the great Yangtze River of China, to present to Columbia University. The artist donated the first scroll in 1951, and completed the entire set in 1960. The length of the scroll is used by the artist to create a panoramic view of a great river, viewed as though passing through the landscape on the water.

Painted for Columbia University and donated by the artist, from 1951 through 1960

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 /