Curators’ View: Irises in Bloom

The Japanese iris, known as hanashobu in Japan, produces some of the most exquisite iris blossoms. It is featured in the 19th-century artist Utagawa Hiroshige’s woodblock print Horikiri Iris Garden, from the series 100 Famous Views of Edo. Anne Nishimura Morse, William and Helen Pounds Senior Curator of Japanese Art, discusses this rare print, which centers on different varieties of elegant irises in vibrant colors. Visitors to Horikiri Gardens, located northeast of Tokyo, can be seen in the background. Irises are the main attraction of the Horikiri Gardens, which have been celebrated since the late-18th century.