More than I’d like, I get lost in a website. This morning I saw that the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries had set up a website to show their entire digitized collections. These galleries specialize in Asian art, so I figured there would be textiles to check out. A search on “textiles,” a few minutes of perusal, what could be the harm?
About an hour later I came up for air. Here are some items in the collections that appealed to me aesthetically. They are from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan; and span several centuries.
First up is a 19th century woman’s silk velvet robe from central Asia, followed by an Uzbekistan ikat 19th century wall hanging. They have similar color schemes, and I’m amazed the colors are still so vibrant.
Here’s a delicate polychrome silk tapestry from the Qing dynasty in China.
This sumptuous robe was a Japanese 19th century Noh costume. What gorgeous birds.
Here’s a fragment from a Japanese Noh robe of the 18th century. It would make a wonderful applique pattern.
Applique from a door hanging made in India in the 20th century.
Another wall hanging, this time from Pakistan, embroidered in the 20th century. Looks like a lot of flying geese. I love those bobbles at the corners.
Images in these collections can be part of your own work. ” Images can be used for all non-commercial purposes, from desktop wallpapers to artistic gifts for family and friends.” according to the Freer/Sackler website. If you click on the wallpapers link, you’ll find some out of the ordinary electronic gadget wallpapers. I’m considering the Edo period thunder god.
The collections contain lots of pieces that would make wonderful patterns for prints and fabric painting. The items below are wood block printed textile covers of two Japanese books from 1935-1936.