This book's jacket sets out its intentions thus: "...to fill a long-felt need for an account of the history of Japanese art which would deal with the crafts as well as with the so-called fine arts and carry the story of Japanese art up to the present day instead of ending with the death of Hiroshige." Continuing with a general description of the contents, the text ends thus: ".. in one compact volume presents an up-to-date, authoritative survey of Japanese art throughout its long history and in all its colourful diversity." Handsomely bound, protected by a cardboard slipcase, and illustrated copiously, this is a must for any serious scholar of the history of Oriental art, up to the middle of the 20th century.
Hugo Munsterberg is/was the son of the famous German psychologist of the same name. Born in Germany, he lived in the USA from 1935, was educated at Harvard, and specialised in oriental art, eventually becoming Professor of Art History at the International Christian University, Tokyo, and also teaching at Hunter College, New York.
Our copy is in excellent condition, evidently presented to a friend at Christmas 1959 and possibly scarcely opened since. It is contained within a cardboard slipcase, somewhat browned around the edges, and with one or two small perforations to one side, but otherwise in good condition. The book itself is protected by an unclipped dust jacket showing almost no signs of wear, apart from a little fading to the spine. The boards are covered in pale beige speckled paper, with a dark brown decorative band around the middle (also seen on the slipcase and the dust jacket), with the titles etc in gilt lettering on the front cover and spine. Again, no signs of use or wear externally or internally. The pages are cream-coloured, and the generous print style makes for comfortable reading. There are many photographs, both B/W and coloured, to enliven the whole.