Nature by Design: Katagami

March 30, 2019 – October 27, 2019

Stencil, Stylized Iris Pattern; Japan; mulberry paper (kozo washi) treated with fermented persimmon tannin (kakishibu); 1976-103-183

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY

2nd Floor

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This exhibition highlights the traditional Japanese craft of katagami: paper stencils carved by master artisans for use in decorating textiles. These stencils often take nature as their subject, and are made from natural materials. Cooper Hewitt’s collection of katagami mostly dates to the late Edo (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) eras, when the craft was at its height. The works on view demonstrate a range of styles and cutting techniques, reflecting the great expressive potential of the medium.