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Japanese prints

The collection of Japanese prints provides an overview of 19th and 20th century printmaking in Japan, and particularly its influence on Western art. The collection has now grown to comprise over 730 works.

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Origins of the collection

Jan van Reek began collecting Japanese prints around 1997, limiting himself to 19th and 20th century masters. In 2001, he donated his collection to the Municipality of Maastricht. He regularly supplemented this collection with new acquisitions. Jan van Reek died in his adopted home of Thailand in August 2015.

Originals and reproductions

The collection of Japanese prints does not just include originals. There are also authentic reproductions created using the same methods and materials as the originals. These originals can be scarce and in less-than-ideal condition; after all, Japanese prints were originally everyday objects and weren’t always treated with respect. The artistic value of the authentic reproductions, most of which originate in the 20th century, is often as high as that of the original.

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Books on printmaking

The collection of Japanese prints is a valuable addition to Centre Céramique’s cultural heritage collections. The donation of Japanese prints was originally intended to be used as illustrations for the books on printmaking available at the City Library. The number of books on Japanese printmaking and the relationship between Japanese and Western art at the city library is extensive. There are also many catalogues with the entire works of Japanese printmakers.