Miller, Lilian (1895 - 1943), "Monday Morning in Korea"
|Title||Monday Morning in Korea|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Edition||First and only.|
|Publisher||The Artist - Privately Published|
|Reference No||Brown: Fig. 30; Cat. 43|
|Size||9 -1/2 x 5 "|
|Condition||Fine; thinning in upper margin.|
Notes: Blocks destroyed in the great kanto earthquake. In September 1920 Miller turned to the production of woodblock prints, looking to make a living as well as a name in art. This design is one of the earliest works created from her inception as a woodblock print artist.
Lilian Miller took on the persona of her subject and wrote, "In my country the people wear their garments white, winter and summer. This is an ancient custom of ours dating from a distant and troublesome age when the whole land mourned for three times three years because of the death of three successive august rulers. At the termination of the long period the people had become so accustomed to the white of mourning that they continued to wear it as being more economical than constantly changing their garments at each new death in the Imperial Household. Even edicts subsequently forbidding the constant use of white has not shaken its popularity with the nation.
But these same white robes make long hours of labor for the women of Korea. To wash the suits of our fathers, husbands and sons is our constant task. Today I have finished my share of washing and am hanging it to dry in the strong wind that comes from beyond the purple mountains. But tomorrow again I shall have still other garments to wash...see where my three small sons are playing in the dirt! For Monday morning comes every morning for Korean wives and mothers!"
The text reveals Miller's understanding of the rigor of women's lives; yet, her desire to create art salable in the foreign community transforms the hardship of daily laundry into a picturesque image.
Provenance: Acquired directly from a descendant of the L.M. Miller family. This was accompanied with the entire family collection of remaining works; including original paintings, pencil sketches and one of a kind proofs.