This week we have sent ten items from MoDA's collections to an exhibition in Japan,entitled 'Katagami Style - Paper Stencils and Japonisme'.
We have a large number of these Japanese stencils (or 'katagami') which are part of the Silver Studio collection. They date from the late nineteenth century, and were probably acquired by Arthur Silver as sources of inspiration for his designs for wallpapers and textiles. They are approximately A4 in size, and were used in the process of printing Japanese kimonos. They are amazingly intricate, with very fine detail which would of course have all been cut by hand.
Other collections of katagami exist in museums across Europe, many of which are also lending to this exhibition. The exhibition in Japan will look at the ways that these examples of Japanese craft had an influence on European art and design (including Art Nouveau and Art Deco) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
We're really pleased that some of our items will be seen on an international stage. If you happen to be in Japan this year, you will be able to see the exhibition at the Mitsubishi Ichikogan Museum, Tokyo, the National Museumof Modern Art, Kyoto, and the Mie Prefectural Art Museum. It has been curated by three professors from the Japan Women's University, the Bunka Gakuen University, and the Kyoritsu Women’s University. We’re delighted to be sending some of our Japanese stencils to this show, as it is a small but important contribution to international scholarship.If you are able to see the exhibition then post a comment to let us know what you think of it.
This design inspired by Katagami will be accompanying the stencils to Japan
See our conservator, Emma, preparing one of the objects, ready to travel in its new frame: