While many of us are aware that traditional Japanese fabrics can be luxuriant and ornate, our first-hand experiences probably begins and ends with the humble kimono. The Ashmolean Museum’s new exhibition, Threads of Silk and Gold, aims to change that.
The first exhibition devoted to the art of Meiji textiles ever to be held outside Japan, it promises to introduce visitors to less well known textiles made for the Western market between 1868 and 1912. It was a rich artistic period, and the resulting embroideries, tapestries and appliqué work became much sought after amongst fashionable Victorian families.
The collection includes 40 examples of the highest-quality Meiji textiles from the newly acquired collection of the Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum in Kyoto. The works have been brought together from around the world, and represent some for the finest examples of their period.
A far cry from the kimono hidden within your wardrobe, these textiles are expansive works of great beauty, thick with beautifully dyed silk and lustrous gold. Their colors are rich and deep, chiming perfectly with the leaves which now litter the pavements of Oxford.
Threads of Silk and Gold is on show at the Ashmolean from 8th November 2012 until 27th January 2013. Entrance is £6 or £4 for concessions.