Thursday, January 21, 2016

Color and Symmetry

Editor's Note: "Getting to Know You" is on display at Quilt House through February 6. To celebrate this show's run, International Quilt Study Center & Museum team members are sharing their impressions on select pieces from the exhibition. 

Patchwork kimono, maker unknown, Japan, circa 1910-1930.
IQSCM 1998.003.0002

By Leslie Levy
Executive Director of Quilt House

The first time I went to Japan, I was 18 years old. I remember the men's kimonos as minimalistic, usually solid grey or black, but at the same time powerful. The women's kimonos were beautiful and complex; elaborate and made of colorful fabric - unlike this piece.

The symmetry and straight lines, emphasized by the long, narrow color blocks, of this kimono appeal to me. It feels modest/unassuming, yet the simplicity, combined with the earthiness of the print and the softness of the fabric give this kimono a quiet, understated authority.

Me, performing a traditional tea ceremony.

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