Kimono for a Modern Age

The Pavilion for Japanese Art
July 5, 2014–October 19, 2014

A blend of the traditional and the modern characterized life and dress during Japan’s Meiji (1868–1912), Taishō (1912–1926) and Shōwa (1926–1989) periods. During the early 20th century, a majority of Japanese women continued to wear traditional kimono. But, as demonstrated in the exhibition, the kimono evolved to reflect the introduction of vibrant synthetic colors, new modes of textile production, and bold abstract and figurative design motifs, often inspired by Western art movements and important current events, such as space exploration.

Kimono for a Modern Age features more than thirty captivating examples from LACMA’s permanent collection exhibited for the first time.

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Image: Woman’s Kimono (kosode) with Abstract Hemp-Leaf Pattern, Japan, late Taisho+ (1912-1926) – early Sho+wa (1926–1989) period, Silk plain weave, stencil-printed warp and weft (heiyo+-kasuri meisen), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume Council Fund, M.2012.130.9.

Kimono

Sueko Oshimoto, a kimono master and costume designer at Suehiro Kimono in North Hollywood demonstrates the technique of proper kimono dressing.

Kimono: A Garment of Change

In Japan, the kimono is a strong symbol of this extraordinary culture. Kimono, which simply translates to, “a thing to wear,” suggests to some extent how these objects served as important artifacts that tell the narrative of Japanese culture...

Learning from the Tradition

Kimono for a Modern Age, currently on view in the Pavilion for Japanese Art, showcases how the kimono evolved to reflect the colors, patterns, and textures that were developed in textile production throughout the 20th century. As a summer intern in LACMA’s Conservation Center, I had the privilege of walking through the show with Catherine McLean, the head of Conservation in the Textiles Department...

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