Jitendra V. Singh was nearly 60, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, when he finally bought his first woodblock print by revered Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, whose work from the Edo 19th century includes a masterly series, "Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.”

It was 2013, and Singh was enchanted by Hokusai’s view of the sacred mountain in Japan, central to each image in the artist’s series: sometimes dominant, sometimes in the background, but always present.

By then Singh had made three long trips into the Himalayas, gone high-altitude trekking on Mount Everest, and journeyed to Mount Kailash in Tibet, which is sacred to Hindus.