Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1893-1953)
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Yasuo Kuniyoshi was born in Okayama, Japan, where he spent most of his childhood years. In Japan, Kuniyoshi attended technical schools that taught weaving and dyeing. Kuniyashi immigrated to the United States in 1906, where he briefly worked for a business in Seattle, Washington. Kuniyoshi soon moved to Los Angeles where he continued his education at the Los Angeles School of Art and Design. While in school Kuniyoshi worked steadily, picking fruit during the summer and finding hotel jobs during the winter months.
By 1910, Kuniyoshi decided to leave California and relocate to the thriving art scene of New York City. Kuniyoshi enrolled in classes at the National Academy and the Art Students League, studying under Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller.
Kuniyoshi travelled to Europe for the first time in 1925, where he gravitated to the art and landscape of France and Italy. When Kuniyoshi returned to the United States he became involved in the growing art community in the rural town of Woodstock, New York. Kuniyoshi became an important member and founder of the Woodstock School.
Kuniyoshi’s work varied from painting to more graphic photography and printmaking. Art Historians categorize his work as containing elements of both Orientalism and Modernism. Kuniyoshi commonly painted either still lifes or figures in humorous or illustrative scenes. During the 1930s, Kuniyoshi was exhibiting frequently throughout the country. Kuniyoshi spent time teaching in both New York City and Woodstock. AIn 1935, at the peak of career, Kuniyoshi was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. Kuniyoshi’s work is now in major museum collections across the United States. Do you think you own a painting or print by Kuniyoshi? Contact us. We are the experts on Yasuo Kuniyoshi.