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Thirty Japanese cloths from recent gift to be displayed at Fowler Museum

Thirty Japanese cloths from recent gift to be displayed at Fowler Museum

'Japanese Pictorial Ikats From the Krauss Collection' opens Jan. 8 by Stacey Abarbanel

In 2008, the Fowler Museum at UCLA received a donation of an important collection of Japanese textiles from Dr. Jeffrey Krauss of Potomac, Md., consisting of 201 examples of e-gasuri, or "pictures made with kasuri," dating from the early-19th to mid-20th centuries.
 
"Fowler in Focus: Japanese Pictorial Ikats From the Krauss Collection," on display at the museum from Jan. 8 to April 29, 2012, offers a first chance to view the highlights from this important gift.

Kasuri is a rustic type of Japanese ikat cloth, usually dyed deep blue with indigo. Japanese weavers, like their counterparts in South, Southeast and Central Asia, mastered the art of ikat, the resist-dyeing of patterns into yarn before it is woven into cloth.
 
Engaging imagery is a hallmark of Japanese e-gasuri, and among the 30 pieces on view are highly imaginative pictorial motifs of sake-swilling imps, Buddhist saints in the form of pop-up dolls, turtles trailing seaweed as longevity symbols, battleships at sea and many others.

Kasuri was popularized during the second half of the 18th century and became an important commodity produced in many rural areas of the country. Always woven in narrow widths of about 30 to 35 centimeters, the cloth was sold in long rolls called tan. One tan contained about 12 meters of fabric, enough to make one kimono. The cloth was also widely used for making the covers of the comforters used on Japanese futon beds (futonji), covers of cushions (zabuton), gift wrap cloths (furoshiki) and door curtains (noren).

"Fowler in Focus: Japanese Pictorial Ikats From the Krauss Collection" is curated by Roy Hamilton, senior curator of Asian and Pacific collections at the Fowler. It will be on view in the Fowler in Focus gallery, the central space within the long-term exhibition "Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives." Fowler in Focus is dedicated to rotating installations of new acquisitions, sub-collections and particular artistic genres in the Fowler's permanent holdings.

The Fowler Museum at UCLA is one of the country's most respected institutions devoted to exploring the arts and cultures of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Americas. The Fowler is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The Fowler Museum, part of UCLA Arts, is located in the north part of the UCLA campus. Admission is free. Parking is available for a maximum of $11 in Lot 4. For more information, the public may call 310-825-4361 or visit www.fowler.ucla.edu.

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