The Sam Sokolov Library at Moonlit Sea Prints is a collection of over 300 volumes exploring the rich genre of Japanese art with a greater focus on woodblock printmaking through ukiyo-e. Many of the volumes contained here are long out of print and contain notable research on specific artists, topics such as artistic censorship in Edo-era Japan, surimono prints, and much more. Works in the library extend from “L’Art Japonais” by Louis Gonse (1883, the first serious Western work on the subject of Japanese art), to the more recent “Japanese Woodblock Prints” by Andreas Marks (2019).
Our mission is to compile one of the largest libraries focused on Japanese woodblocks and make it as accessible as we’re able.
Visiting and Using the Library
The library is within Moonlit Sea Prints as is open most weekdays between 9am and 3pm EST by appointment at this time.
If you are seeking specific pages or passages for reference please send us a message and we will be happy to scan pages for you.
About Sam Sokolov
Dr. Sam Sokolov’s interest in Japanese art began around 1945 at the end of World War II, where he served in the US Army during the allied forces occupation of Japan. While awaiting discharge from the Army, he came across many kinds of Japanese art including woodblock prints, which made their aesthetic mark on him and sparked a lifelong passion.
Many years later, in the 1960s, after he had settled in New York, married Selma, became the father of three sons, and opened a practice as a podiatrist, he noticed an ad in a local newspaper for the sale of Japanese woodblock prints. He went to look and was fascinated by this incredible artwork. It was then that he bought his first prints. There began his interest in and acquisition of a large collection of prints and a library of Japanese and Asian art literature.
Dr. Sokolov then began to further educate himself and study everything about the artists, the creative process and the history of Ukiyo-e. He became a member of the Japanese Art / Ukiyo-e Society of New York, attending their meetings and exhibits regularly, and he cultivated friendships with several other Ukiyo-e collectors and dealers. He wrote articles on ukiyo-e for various journals, and several times presented talks and slideshows about his collection to groups of interested people.
Sam Sokolov was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant parents. He was a completely self-invented man who in addition to collecting prints, was a painter and artist himself, as well as a wood craftsman who designed and built unique and beautiful wood furniture.
Dr. Sam Sokolov’s passion for Japanese prints and his ability to find and acquire works of great artistic value and beauty continued throughout the rest of his life until his death in December 2020 at age 98.
The Sokolov family donated Sam’s reference library to Moonlit Sea Prints in remembrance of Dr. Sokolov’s passion for ukiyo-e and his desire to help others gain as much knowledge and pleasure from his collection as he did.
Donating Books to the Library
We are actively seeking books on Japanese art, ukiyo-e, shin-hanga, mokuhanga, etc.
Please mail the books to:
Moonlit Sea Prints
116 Pleasant Street, Suite 226
Easthampton, MA 01027