Louis V. Ledoux, Japanese Prints/Hokusai and Hiroshige in the Collection of Louis V. Ledoux (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), no. 22.
Louis Vernon Ledoux (1880-1948) was president of Ledoux and Co. in New York City, expert assayers and chemists for mining and metallurgical firms, a company founded by his father. It was his first trip to Japan in 1920 that converted him into a serious collector and scholar of Japanese prints. Because of his literary background, he was one of the few in his day concerned with the poems that are integral to so many of Hiroshige's bird-and-flower prints. In 1927 the Japan Society published Ledoux's The Art of Japan, in which he cited prints at the head of a list of the most original artistic products of Japan.
Ledoux was fastidious about maintaining the high quality of his collection, limiting its size to 250 prints, a number he had attained by the early 1920s. His first important print publication was The Surviving Works of Sharaku, co-authored in 1939 with the Columbia University professor of Japanese language and art, Harold G. Henderson (1889-1974). With the help of Ihara Toshiro, a Kabuki historian, the authors proved that Sharaku's prints were all published within a period of less than one year. Ledoux was also the first to record different states of many Sharaku prints. Ledoux recorded his print collection in his best-known publication, a five-volume catalogue (1942-51). The final three volumes were published posthumously by his widow, Jean Ledoux (1886-1979), and necessitated the sale of the collection itself in 1949. Prints dispersed after Ledoux's death are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, the Gale Collection in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Mann Collection, among others.