Miller, Lilian (1895 - 1943), "Korean Man Smoking Pipe"
|Title||Korean Man Smoking Pipe|
|Medium||Original Japanese Woodblock Print|
|Edition||First and only.|
|Date||1920's - Pre-earthquake|
|Reference No||Brown - Fig. 10C, pg. 21; Cat. 35C|
|Size||5 x 3 -1/4 "|
Notes: A scarce pre-earthquake small-format woodblock print design. Still tipped to the original card stock. Artist monogram; lower right. Carver: Matsumoto. Printer: Nishimura Kumakichi II.
Provenance: Acquired directly from a descendant of the L. Miller Family. This was accompanied with the entire family collection of remaining works of art by Miller; including original paintings, pencil sketches and one of a kind proofs.
Miller explained: "In 1917 I saw Korea for the first time. It seemed to me a story-book land. The people are like old Chinese sages with their long flowing garments of white, always white, and the men with their odd little black hats. These cards and prints were aimed at the market of Western diplomats and businessmen - and their wives, most critically - living in large East Asian cities. Miller perhaps made, and sold, as many as two or three-hundred copies of each work (The Great Kanto Earthquake and fire of 1923 destroyed the bulk of this production)." - Brown, pg. 45-46.
Miller was visiting her parents in Seoul when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck on September 1, 1923. In the conflagration after the tremor, Miller's personal possessions were destroyed as were many finished prints, their blocks and her studio. Miller would fall seriously ill from the sudden shock of her loss, and produced no art for three years as she recuperated with her parents in Seoul, Korea.