Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College in Ohio has a collection of more than 1,500 ukiyo-e wood block prints donated by Mary Ainsworth, who was one of the earliest American collectors infatuated with the art. Born in Illinois in 1867, she started building her remarkable collection since her visit to Japan in 1906 (Meiji 39) and continued collecting for the next 25 years. Known for both its quantity and quality, her encyclopedic collection is a showcase of the whole history of ukiyo-e including the most rare and earliest examples and masterpieces of renowned artists such as Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Hiroshige. Ainsworth was listed as a superb female collector on the ranking list of foreign ukiyo-e connoisseurs which was published in 1938 in Japan, along with other well-known male collectors such as Ernest Francisco Fenollosa, Edmond and Jules de Goncourt and Bernard Howell Leach.
This exhibition views 200 prints selected from the collection and travels to three locations in Japan in 2019. It is the very first opportunity for the prints to return to their homeland.