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Bertha Lum(1869-1954): Imprinting a Life

Bertha Lum, 1925 Branche of Oranges - Japonisme comes to America
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Bertha Lum, 1925 Branche of Oranges – Japonisme comes to America

Bertha Lum(1869-1954) caught my eye on Pinterest, because of the rich orange tones of her woodblock prints.  She attended the Art Institute of Chicago as a young woman, and when she married at age 34, persuaded her husband to go to Japan on their honeymoon, in search of printmaking supplies.  I can’t help but be drawn to a woman who builds a honeymoon around art techniques.

Bertha Lum, Fox Woman
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Bertha Lum, The Fox Woman(1916)

I’ve included several links to various biographical sketches of Bertha Lum, which are like pieces of a puzzle, each important but kept separate.  Details like   returning to Japan a second time to apprentice with Japanese printmakers, being the only westerner to exhibit art at Tokyo’s Annual art exhibition in 1912, divorcing in 1917 and moving to California and making a living from art to losing most of her blocks in the earthquake of 1923 in Japan, to living in China for 2 years with her 2 daughters while learning Chinese printmaking, and finally the fact that her son-in-law Antonio Riva, was executed by the Communist government in China in 1951, and she moved to Italy to be with her daughter, and died there in 1954.

As always, more orange goodness at my Orange Tuesdays Pinterest Board.

The Art of Bertha Lum at feuilleton

From NMWA’s Vault: Bertha Lum

The Annex Galleries



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