This exhibit featured over 200 blockprints of Paul Jacoulet, a French artist who traveled in the 1930s and 1940s throughout the Micronesian islands including Guam. Dr. Don Rubinstein of the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam, curator of the show, describes Paul Jacoulet as the most productive, uniquely gifted, and internationally recognized of all the foreign artists who have portrayed the people of Micronesia.
His art trembles between two traditions, one rooted in 18th century Japanese print-making, with Utamaro as a leading influence, and the other inspired by 20th century European painting.
The exhibition included a majority of Jacoulet’s Rainbow Series as well as reproductions of his preparatory sketches and watercolors – many of which have never been displayed. The Rainbow Series, also known as Seven Women of the South Seas consists of seven portraits of Chamorro women whom Jacoulet painted in Saipan. All women were dressed in finely embroidered diaphanous blouses of piña fiber, and wearing their gold and tortoise shell jewelry. Each Chamorro woman’s predominant dress color follows the sequence of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet—and these colors also fill the backgrounds, in deepening hues from horizon line to upper sky.
As depicted by his captivating prints, Paul Jacoulet’s vision extends its scope to include the other Micronesian islands and the people of Yap, Woleai, Palau, Chuuk, and Pohnpei.
Paul Jacoulet’s Vision of Micronesia is sponsored by the University of Guam, Guam CAHA, NEA, the Office of the Governor, and House of Brutus.