Fleeting Beauty, Enduring Traditions: Blossom Viewing over the Centuries

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division curators Mari Nakahara and Katherine Blood will present an illustrated talk about their new book “Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress,” published by the Library in association with Smithsonian Books. The book highlights the rich connections between Japan’s centuries-old blossom viewing traditions and contemporary American counterparts through a stunning variety of artifacts housed at the Library: vintage photographs, unique watercolor drawings, colorful woodblock prints, and cleverly designed posters by both Japanese and American artists. The presenters will provide new insights into the Library’s cherry blossom collections and will feature a variety of recently acquired gifts, including National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) posters from 1987 to the present and NCBF and National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) Princess programs starting from 1949. The authors will also present new and ongoing cross-disciplinary research discoveries featuring signature collections in the Library’s Asian, Geography and Map, and Manuscript divisions.

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