Fashion and Textiles Converge in Kimono Exhibition at the Ringling Museum
Nov. 15, 2008 - Feb. 8, 2009
Sarasota, FL—October 2, 2008 – Fashion, textiles and culture will converge in the Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan exhibition at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing Nov. 15, 2008-Feb. 8, 2009. The exhibition consists late 19th and early 20th century kimono from the renowned Montgomery Collection in Lugano, Switzerland.
“We are committed to showcasing a variety of themes and styles of Asian art at the Museum,” says Dr. John Wetenhall Executive Director of the Ringling Museum. “The intersection of art, history and culture is no more apparent than with the Japanese kimono exhibition which will present a captivating look into an important cultural crossroads in Japan.”
The exhibition includes formal, semi-formal, and casual kimono, haori jackets, and undergarments worn by men, women, and children. Some kimono represent the historical continuity in designs as well as the techniques used to apply these designs, while others demonstrate the break from traditional kimono. The exhibition also includes vintage and modern photographs from the International Hokusai Research Centre in Milan.
The exhibition represents the era of the “living” kimono (1890s-1940s) when the kimono remained the dress of choice for Japanese men, women and children. Mirroring a shift in Japan’s economy and society in the early 20th-century, fashionable silk kimono with intricate
designs, once reserved for the wealthy, were brought to the masses through advances in silk production and distribution. New designs and styles, incorporating new techniques, materials, and colors, were introduced. Many broke from the traditional Japanese style in favor of large, bold patterns evocative of Western art movements such as Art Deco.
During the 1950’s, the western world continued influence the traditional Japanese culture. Western clothing replaced the kimono and became the preferred choice for everyday wear by the majority of the Japanese population. Today, the traditional Japanese kimono takes on purely formal meanings.
The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International in Alexandria, Va. His Excellency, Ryozo Kato, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America, is the Honorary Patron of the exhibition.
A catalog, Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan, will accompany the exhibition and will be available in the Museum Stores. Theater programs in the Historic Asolo Theater and educational programs for children and adults will correspond to the exhibition. Theater and educational programs are not included in the price of regular admission.
The exhibition is funded, in part, by a grant from the Sarasota County Arts Council, Tourist Development Council, and the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners.
General Admission includes the Ringling Museum of Art, special exhibitions, Cà d’Zan Mansion, Circus Museum, Mable’s historic Rose Garden and Florida’s only rose test gardens, all on 66 acres of lushly landscaped grounds. Adults are $19; senior citizens (65 and over) are $16; children ages 6-17 are $6. Free Admission for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult, museum members. Advance tickets are available by calling 941.358.3180. Visit for more information.