Featured Exhibitor: David Kutcher
Japanese art often goes underrated in American culture, despite the significance it holds. Famous works of Western art from Van Gogh and Frank Lloyd Wright to modern comics and manga have all been inspired and heavily influenced by Japanese art. David Kutcher, proprietor of Moonlit Sea Prints, is an upcoming exhibitor at the Northampton Antiquarian Book, Ephemera, and Book Arts Fair. Moonlit Sea Prints,specializes in selling and collecting antique Japanese woodblock prints from the 1800’s to the late 1970’s.
Kutcher fell into the world of Japanese art randomly and unexpectedly one evening after experiencing a terrible day at work. At the time he lived in Manhattan, New York, and while walking the streets of the city on his way back home, he came across a small gallery full of the magic and history found in these woodblock designs. Here he bought a piece of work that he had fallen in love with , but spent years understanding what he’d bought. Over the next twenty years he had learned the meaning not only behind the piece he bought, but behind Japanese woodblock art in general, collecting along the way.
While working in his first business, Confluent Forms, which specializes in web design and digital strategy, he began working for an antique map dealer, where he explored the idea of opening his own antiques business. Kutcher did exactly that, opening his gallery in the midst of the pandemic.
Most of the pieces Kutcher curates come from attics, estate sales, and auctions where people sell him these pieces that they find. The pieces he selects and sells are in his words ‘curated,;’ he works to find pieces that “speak” to him in hopes that others will share the same interest. “I want to find pieces that really light people up when they see them.”
Kucther has clientele in over fifty countries along with a gallery locally in Easthampton, Massachusetts for people to come and view these works in person. He also has an online option where you can query a large variety of Japanese woodblock art for any want and need.
Many of Kutcher’s clients send him photos of the art on their walls after they've been framed and displayed, a practice he appreciates deeply. There’s something special for Kutcher in the process of finding and buying a piece of art, to unbox it, research it, and care for it until someone else comes along to love it.
*The first image featured above is Kawase Hasui - Moon Over the Ara River, Akabane
*The second image featured above is Shiro Kasamatsu - Misty Evening at Shinobazu Pond
Written by Meghan Cenci - 11/2/22