Mountain Pines and Curry Village with Half Dome Silhouette
ink and color on paper (with folds and losses at the edges and corners); signed Kakunen with artist's rectangular seal Kakunen, and oval Tsuruoka family seal on verso, n.d., ca. 1930s
20 3/4 by 5 3/8 in., 52.6 by 13.7 cm
In 1936 Kakunen initiated a collaboration with the Japanese publisher Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962) to produce a group of woodblock prints of primarily American landscapes. The four completed designs were Night Mist Over San Francisco City Hall (1936), Golden Gate Bridge (1937), Carmel Highlands at Twilight (1938), and a larger scale print of a family friend's beloved pet, Parrot on a Camellia Branch (1940). There was also a test print completed in 1936 of Half Dome After Rain, Yosemite National Park, which for unknown reasons never made it into production. Kakunen may have produced this watercolor around the same time that he was working on the composition for the Half Dome print as the silhouette of the mountain obscured by mist appears to be that of the distinctive landmark located in Yosemite National Park. The timber constructed buildings tucked against the hillside are similar to the type that could be found at Camp Curry, also known as Half Dome Village, a tented camp established in 1899 which developed into a concession for tourists in the park offering a lodge, cabins, dining facilities and even a post office. A 1921 advertisement for the camp features a photograph of "A Typical Bungalow Setting" with nearly the identical silhouette of the Half Dome in the distance.
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
September 22, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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