- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A retired Georgia doctor has donated a large collection of Japanese prints and books to the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama.

Dr. Roy Ward donated the works late last year to the museum. Wood said it’s the largest donation of Japanese prints the museum has ever gotten, the museum’s Asian art curator Donald A. Wood told the Athens Banner-Herald (http://bit.ly/1aXAEJo).

Some of the prints are already on display, while others are set to make their debut this summer in a show of Japanese block prints. Block prints are made using colored inks or paints and carved blocks of wood. The method was first used in Japan in the early 1600s but was used much earlier in China.

Ward, who is in his early 90s and lives in Watkinsville, said he began collecting block prints more than 20 years ago. As his health began to decline, he decided to sell some of them. He sold some to collectors in Scotland and Germany, but said it was too much of a hassle.

“The Birmingham museum has an outstanding collection of Japanese art, so I notified them I wanted to give them some things,” he said. “I’m pleased that it went to a place that wanted it. I feel good about it.”

The museum was also pleased with the donation, which include some works from well-known artists in Japan, including Hokusai, Hiroshige and Yoshida.

“He has a very discerning eye and he collected very, very well,” Wood, the curator, said.

In addition to collecting Japanese wood block prints, Ward also made prints from his own carved blocks. He can’t do that anymore because of failing eyesight, but last year a show of his prints was exhibited at an art museum in Macon. He also wrote a book, “From Chickens to Poinsettias,” that illustrated his block prints and described his experience with the art form.

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Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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