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Van Zelst Family Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Van Zelst Family Collection Materials

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Van Zelst Family Collection, 1959-2002 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Van Zelst Family Collection, 1959-2002


Extent: 2.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 07/09/2002

Languages: English, Japanese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection provides documentation on the works of Un-ichi Hiratsuka and his family.  It also follows his family’s friendship with the art collector Theodore Van Zelst and his family.  This collection outlines Hiratsuka’s work in the United States and Japan through multiple exhibition catalogues and correspondence related to these exhibitions.  Documents in this collection include press releases, advertisements, catalogues, newspaper articles, posters, books, invitations, and a video tape.  There is also some information provided on his daughter, Keiko Moore (also a printmaker), and his granddaughter, Thalia Moore (a cellist).  This collection spans from 1959 to 2002.

For more information concerning this collection, please see the Rare Books Van Zelst acquisition file.

Collection Historical Note

Un-ichi Hiratsuka was a master of Ukiyo-e, or Japanese woodblock printing.  Un-ichi Hiratsuka was born in 1859 and became a painting student in the 1910s.  Going through his studies he valued both the Modern Western art as well as the tradition Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking.  He later trained under Igami Bonkotsu and his dual education and interests later led him to the Japanese Creative Print Society and the sosaku hanga (creative prints) movement.  This movement led to a revival of traditional Japanese printmaking mixed with a modern twist and a flair for personal expression.

In 1962, he and his wife moved to the United States to live closer to their daughter, Keiko Moore, who lived in Washington D.C.  While in Washington, Hiratsuka began printing the scenery around him, full of high buildings and bridges, which would catch the eye of Theodore Van Zelst (who was an engineer involved in bridge design).  Van Zelst was so taken by Hiratsuka’s artwork that he soon accumulated a collection of his prints, along with corresponding to the Hiratsuka family, forming a life-long friendship.  Hiratsuka and his wife eventually moved back to Japan and Un-ichi Hiratsuka later died at the age of 102 in 1997.   

For more information about Un’ichi Hiratsuka, please see the Rare Books Van Zelst acquisition file.

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: no restrictions

Acquisition Source: Theodore Van Zelst

Appraisal Information: Please see Van Zelst's acquisition file in Rare Books for appraisal information

Related Materials:

Helen Merritt Collection in Regional History Center

James D. Tobin collection in Rare Books and Special Collections department

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Van Zelst Family Collection Materials],

Series I: Van Zelst Family Collection Materials
Box 1
Folder 1: Un'ichi Hiratsuka: Buddhist Woodblock Master [copy of article by Stewart J. Teaze|Asia Scene] page 30 to page 35, April 1959
Folder 2: Correspondence and press articles of Un'ichi Hiratsuka, 1960 - 1969
Folder 3: Correspondence and press articles of Un'ichi Hiratsuka, 1970 -1979
Folder 4: Correspondence and press articles of Un'ichi Hiratsuka, 1980 - 1989
Folder 5: Correspondence and press articles of Un'ichi Hiratsuka, 1990 - 1999
Folder 6: Correspondence with Keiko Moore (Hiratsuka's daughter) and press articles about Un'ichi Hiratsuka|Helen Merritt's lecture notes, 2000 - 2001
Folder 7: Handwritten notes and correspondence, 1960 - 1975
Folder 8: Postcards and notecards by Un'ichi Hiratsuka, [1949]
Folder 9: Postcards and notecards by Un-ichi Hiratsuka and a 1970 appointment calendar, 1970
Box 2
Folder 1: Information on roof tiles, Spring 1995 - June 6, 2002
Folder 2: The Bridge and I [catalogue|descriptions in English and Japanese], 1969
Folder 3: Letters to Van Zelst from Hiratsuka's friends and fellow artists|articles about Hiratsuka's work, 1971 - 1993
Folder 4: Reader's Digest [in Japanese with English translations]|articles on Hiratsuka's work, 1962 - 1999
Folder 5: Hiratsuka's obituary|letter from Van Zelst to the Hiratsuka family|articles about Hiratsuka's life|a memorial by Keiko Hiratsuka Moore, 1997 - 1999
Folder 6: Press articles about an exhibition at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, 1987
Folder 7: Announcement of exhibition at the University of North Carolina, [1967]
Folder 8: Letters regarding an exhibit of Van Zelst's collection at the University of Wisconsin at Baraboo, 1971
Folder 9: Articles and advertisements for exhibitions in the Washington D.C. area, 1966 - 1999
Folder 10: Articles and advertisements for exhibitions at the Franz Bader Gallery, 1970 - 1979
Folder 11: Article on the National Museum of American Art exhibition, 1999
Folder 12: Invitation for exhibition at the Palm Springs Desert Museum|advertisement and letter for the exhibition and for the University of California at Riverside lecture, 1970 - 1987
Folder 13: Letters and invitation regarding exhibition at Kendall College in Evanston Illinois, 1969
Folder 14: Letters|article|catalogue regarding the exhibition at Marillac High School in Northfield Illinois, 1968 - 1969
Folder 15: Letters|article|invitation|and copies of photos regarding the exhibition at Dittmar Gallery at Northwestern University, 1972 - 1973
Folder 16: Letters|article|invitation|and copies of photos regarding the exhibition at Illinois Bell Telephone Company in Chicago, 1973 - 1974
Folder 17: Letters and articles regarding the exhibition at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest Illinois, 1975
Folder 18: Letters|notes|invitation|and copies of photos regarding the exhibition at the Art Institute|also notes and copies of photographs of prints donated to the Art Institute by Van Zelst, 1977 - 1979
Folder 19: Letters|advertisement|photocopies of photographs regarding 'Japan Today' exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1978 - 1979
Folder 20: Loan agreement|letter|photocopies of photographs regarding the exhibition at Evanston Art Center, 1983
Folder 21: Letters|memos|articles|poster|and catalogue regarding the exhibition at the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Museum in Yokohama Japan|inlcudes copy of magazine 'Midwest Engineer' magazine, 1996, Sep/Oct 1996
Folder 22: News and Events: the Art Institute of Chicago' [member's magazine]|press coverage|'Hiratsuka' publicity report from the Art Institute of Chicago, May/June 2001, 2001
Folder 23: Letters|advertisements|and checklists regarding exhibition at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University, 1987 - 2001
Box 3
Folder 1: Hiratsuka Selected Prints [exhibition catalogue in Japanese], [1975]
Folder 2: Hiratsuka Selected Prints [notes], 1975
Folder 3: Exhibit to Commemorate Return of Hiratsuka Un'ichi to His Home Country' [catalogue in Japanese], 1989
Folder 4: Exhibition catalogue [in Japanese] for the Isetan Department Store in Tokyo, [1980]
Folder 5: Notes on Isetan Department Store exhibition catalogue and envelope, [1980]
Folder 6: Commemorating Opening of Hiratsuka Museum [in Nagano|exhibition catalogue in Japanese|note|envelope], 1991
Folder 7: Great Modern Japanese Woodcut Print Artist Un'ichi Hiratsuka: A Hundred Years of Woodblock Print [book in Japanese], no date
Folder 8: Un'ichi Hiratsuka [exhibition catalogue for the Sabu Department Store in Tokyo|in English and Japanese], 1997
Folder 9: Japan: A Country of Printmaking: Un'ichi Hiratsuka [excerpt from book translated by Keiko Moore], 1993
Folder 10: Hiratsuka: Modern Master [book published by the Art Institute of Chicago], 2001
Box 4
Folder 1: Hanga Geijutsu [quarterly art magazine|number 86|in Japanese], 1994
Folder 2: 1973 and 1974 calendars [artwork by Un'ichi Hiratsuka], 1973 - 1974
Folder 3: Life in the Hiratsuka Family [essay|written by Keiko Hiratsuka Moore] and 'Keiko Hiratsuka Moore' in Circle of Friendship [article], 1992 - 2000
Folder 4: Advertisements|letters and newspaper articles for exhibit and lectures by Keiko Moore, 1978 - 1999
Folder 5: Advertisements for 'Japanese Woodblock Prints'|articles on visit with Japanese Emperor|Articles on letters on ballroom dancing, 1973 - 1989
Folder 6: Catalogue of Moore woodblock prints owned by the Van Zelsts, no date
Folder 7: Correspondence from Keiko Moore to the Van Zelsts|1993 calendar by Moore|'Moku Hanga: How to Make Japanese Woodblock Prints' [book by Keiko Moore], 1973 - 2001
Folder 8: Articles and programs on Thalia Moore [cellist and daughter of Keiko Moore|granddaughter of Un'ichi Hiratsuka], 1979 - 1984
Folder 9: Archives Table of Contents for the Un'ichi Hiratsuka Van Zelst Collection [manuscript|detailed listing of this archival collection], [2002]
Folder 10: Catalogue of Woodblock Prints for Archives [manuscript], [2002]
Folder 11: Catalogue of Woodblock Prints for Archives continued [manuscript], [2002]
Folder 12: A.L. De Sanctis Collection|Works on Paper: Manet to Picasso [exhibition catalogue] and letter, 1990
Box 5
Folder 1: Video on Hiratsuka by NHK [Japan Public Television], Nov 1995
Folder 2: Archival data from the Van Zelst Collection on a Macintosh zip disk, no date
Folder 3: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese], no date
Folder 4: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese], no date
Folder 5: Japanese Prints [catalogue|volume 11|number 5], 1999
Folder 6: Japanese Prints [catalogue|volume 11|number 7], 2000
Folder 7: Mita Arts Catalogue [catalogue|number 8], no date
Folder 8: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese|number 9], no date
Folder 9: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese|number 10], no date
Folder 10: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese|number 11], no date
Folder 11: Mita Arts Gallery [catalogue in Japanese|number 12], no date
Box 6: Oversized Materials
Folder 1: 1964 Wall Calendar [artwork by Hiratsuka], 1964
Folder 2: Familiar Tokyo [Art Magazine], 1976
Folder 3: Familiar Tokyo [Art Magazine|comments by Keiko Moore], 1976
Folder 4: Art Institute Retrospective poster, 1978
Folder 5: Art Institute Retrospective poster, 1978
Folder 6: Extra large poster in Japanese [exhibition unknown], 1980
Folder 7: Blue scarf for Matsue Bank of San Insanin|box the scarf came in|and information on the scarf, no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Van Zelst Family Collection Materials],

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