Haiga Portfolio

An octopus trap and fleeting dreams under a summer moon

(American, 1890–1973)
(American, 1927–2007)
Image: 40.8 x 50.8 cm (16 1/16 x 20 in.); Sheet: 45.4 x 54.5 cm (17 7/8 x 21 7/16 in.)
Edition: edition of 50
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

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Did You Know?

The artist wrote of the works in this portfolio: “I have attempted to pictorialize these haiku psychologically and thus complete the verses by making the illustrations as modern as the verses will always remain.”


Modernist painter Stanton Macdonald-Wright developed the Haiga portfolio out of his admiration for haiga, the traditional art of haiku illustration. Produced in Japan using traditional Japanese printmaking technique (ukiyo-e), the artist challenged the typically minimalist, black and white approach to haiku illustration. While many of the works in the portfolio employ the lively colors and patterns of Synchromism—an art movement MacDonald-Wright founded in 1910 seeking to apply color theory to music and rhythm—others are more contemplative, while still retaining a connection to abstract modernist optics.
An octopus trap and fleeting dreams under a summer moon

An octopus trap and fleeting dreams under a summer moon


Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Clifton Karhu

(American, 1890–1973), (American, 1927–2007)

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