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More than 175 Japanese prints in Nov. 18 auction

On Sunday, Nov. 18, Turner Auctions + Appraisals is presenting the Kappy Hendricks Collection of Japanese Prints, which comprises over 175 lots.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – On Sunday, Nov. 18, Turner Auctions + Appraisals is presenting the Kappy Hendricks Collection of Japanese Prints. The sale features over 175 lots from the personal collection of Mrs. Hendricks, a long-time expert, lecturer and gallerist of Japanese woodblock prints.

Tsuchiya Koitsu (1870-1949), Geisha by Lantern Light

Tsuchiya Koitsu (1870-1949), Geisha by Lantern Light, 1937, woodblock print, 12” x 8 3/4”, $150-$250. All images courtesy of Turner + Turner Auctions & Appraisals

Among the 20th century artists are Tadashi Nakayama, Joichi Hoshi, Hiroshi and Toshi Yoshida, Kawase Hasui, Yoshitoshi Mori, Kiyoshi Saito, Hajime Namiki, Ryohei Tanaka, Kihei Sasajima, Hiroyuki Tajima and Ted Colyer. Artists from other centuries are represented as well, including Hiroshige, Hiroshige II, Tsuchiya Koitsu and Toyokuni III.

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. PST; sale items are online now. The sale is featured on four platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app (“Turner Auctions”). All are accessible through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at

Prints sourced directly from Japan

In 1965, Kappy Hendricks, her husband Marshall, and son Jeffrey moved to Tokyo for Marshall’s position as a lawyer with Hill Betts & Nash LLP. During the five years the family lived in Japan, Kappy became captivated by Japanese culture, aesthetics and art, particularly Japanese prints, which she began to collect. During that time in Japan, she founded The Hendricks Art Collection, Limited and was one of the first people to import European graphic art to sell to Japanese buyers.

In 1970, the Hendricks family returned to the U.S., settling in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon the advice of a family friend, businessman Lucio Noto, Kappy shifted the focus of her art business to offer Japanese woodblock prints to buyers in America and beyond. She was heartened by Noto’s rationale of scarcity and value: Japanese prints were handmade in limited editions, created using a technique that was difficult to master, and respected by American and European museum curators.

Nakayama, Tadashi, Two Horses

Nakayama, Tadashi, (1927-2014), Two Horses, 1969, woodblock print, 21 1/2 x 28 1/2”. Edition: 1/75. $700-$900.

The Hendricks Art Collection has continued since 1970 as a full-service gallery featuring Japanese contemporary and antique works, appraisals and consulting. The eclectic collection is mostly representational, with some abstract works. As a primary art dealer purchasing directly from artists rather than other buyers, Hendricks’ collection focused in three areas – contemporary artists of the 20th century, shin hanga transitional prints, and ukiyo-e, “pictures of the floating world,” a genre of Japanese art from the 17th-19th centuries. She appreciated the prints’ beauty and decorative appeal, looking for the best images and top-quality prints by artists whose works would increase in value over time. Through the years, the gallery exhibited works at hundreds of solo public shows at top hotels and art spaces in leading American cities on the east coast and Midwest, or by appointment.

Building on her language skills acquired living in Japan, Hendricks obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, Japanese Language, from Georgetown University in 1973. This opened doors in art circles as well: she was invited to artists’ studios, got to know them personally, and purchased from them directly, including Tadashi Nakayama, Joichi Hoshi and Hajime Namiki. As an example, when famed artist Toshi Yoshida passed away in 1995, his widow Kiso contacted Hendricks, who happened to be in Japan, and invited her to purchase every pencil-signed print of her husband’s. Kappy did – and many of these are offered in the Nov. 18 sale.

Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997), Winter in Aizu #17

Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997), Winter in Aizu #17; 1970; woodblock print, 19” x 24”. Edition: 77/80. $1,500-$2,500.

In the 1970s, Kappy started importing the works of Tadashi Nakayama, considered by many to be one of Japan’s leading woodblock print artists. They began a relationship when she and her husband were the first Westerners to be received by the artist in his house and studio in Japan. Hendricks then became the exclusive worldwide agent for the artist. Her interest in Nakayama’s work continued, culminating in the biography and catalog raisonné of his work in 1983, which helped open Western eyes to Japanese prints. The book, “Tadashi Nakayama: His Life and Work,” was updated and issued in a second edition by Kappy and Jeffrey Hendricks in 2011.

As her business and knowledge grew, so did the call for her expertise in Japanese prints. Hendricks was a docent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the only person to conduct tours in Japanese for visiting dignitaries. She also lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, American University, and the American Society of Appraisers, among many other venues.

Her other interests included collecting Imari porcelain, and studying and practicing ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.

A leading figure in the Japanese print movement, Kappy Hendricks passed away in 2016. According to Jeffrey, Kappy had eclectic taste and an exceptional eye, always seeking examples of the finest quality. Now others will be able to enjoy the fruits of her talents and passion, honed over 50-plus years. 

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