Elizabeth Keith

British , 1887 - 1956

Elizabeth Keith was born in Scotland in 1887. In 1915, she traveled to Japan to visit her sister who had married an English publisher living in Tokyo. Charmed by Japanese culture and the arts, Keith remained in Japan for nine years.

During her first year in Japan, Keith participated in a small exhibition in Tokyo with caricatures of foreign residents. Shin Hanga publisher, Watanabe saw some of her watercolors at an exhibition and encouraged her to transform one of them into a woodblock print. For the next two years, she learned the Japanese woodblock printmaking technique. Keith’s first prints proved to be quite successful and she participated in exhibitions in Japan, London and New York.

Keith went to England in 1924 and began studying color etchings. Her portfolio consists of more than one hundred woodblock prints and about a dozen color etchings. All of her prints are signed in pencil, following Western customs. Some of her prints were published in numbers of only 30 to 50 copies.

In the mid 1930s, she participated in exhibitions in the United States. In 1956, she had a solo exhibition in Tokyo, which included 59 woodblock prints and 8 color etchings. She died during the same year.
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