Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997)
Kiyoshi Saito was born in Fukushima prefecture in 1907. He started his career painting signs for store fronts in Japan. In 1932, he sold the successful business and moved to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo, he studied Western-style paintings at the Hongo Painting Institute. Mr. Saito’s first love was oil painting, but he later became interested in the technique of woodblock prints. By the end of the 1930’s, he produced the "Winter in Aizu Series"; an area where he lived as a youth. In the 1940’s, Kiyoshi Saito met Onchi and began to work primarily in woodblock printmaking. He would become a member of the Nihon Hanga Kyokai (Japanese Woodblock Association) and from there sold his first prints at the exhibition. In 1951, Kiyoshi Saito received first prize for the work, “Steady Gaze” at the inaugural Sao Paolo Biennial. He was invited to the United States in 1956 by the auspices of the State Department and the Asia Foundation. In 1967, he had the honor of making a woodblock print of Prime Minister Eisaku Sato for the cover of Time Magazine. His prints feature figurative subjects, scenes in Kyoto, and animal impressions. Kiyoshi Saito's works are in the collection of The Cincinnati Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, New York Public Library, Art Institute of Chicago, Fukushima Prefecture Museum of Art, and the Kanagawa Prefecture Museum, as well as numerous important private collections.