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Utagawa Kunisada, Yoshitsune's Letter from Koshigoe: (possibly) Mimasu Gennosuke II as Izumi no Saburō, woodblock print on paper, 21 in x 37 in (53.34 cm x 93.98 cm);13 7/8 in x 29 1/4 in (35.24 cm x 74.3 cm);21 in x 37 in (53.34 cm x 93.98 cm);13 7/8 in x 9 5/8 in (35.24 cm x 24.45 cm), Gift of Ruth W. and Clarence J. Boldt, Jr.

History of Art 271 – School of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Faculty Curator: Bryan Miller (History of Art; Museum of Anthropological Archaeology)

On view: Fall 2021

Arts of War draws upon art from a wide range of geographic locations and time periods to explore the deep connection between the arts and warfare throughout history.

The prominence of warfare in visual culture is striking. It is one of its most frequently addressed subjects, and with good reason—war disrupts daily life, changes society and politics, and produces extremes of experience. From weapons of great artistry to works of art depicting the horrors of war, each object in this section opens inquiry into the variety of ways that people have created art to make sense of this many faceted phenomenon.

Works Included In This Collection

Utagawa Kunisada
woodblock print on paper
circa 1460
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold leaf on paper
wood and iron
circa 1750
Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
20th century
iron, wood and gold leaf


Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost, Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick, the Eleanor Noyes Crumpacker Endowment Fund, and the Oakriver Foundation.