Down The Rabbit Hole This Morning

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.

Woman's central Asian 19th c. silk velvet robe SmithsonianUzbekistan ikat wall hanging 19th c. Smithsonian

Here’s a delicate polychrome silk tapestry from the Qing dynasty in China.

Qing dynasty silk tapestry Smithsonian

This sumptuous robe was a Japanese 19th century Noh costume. What gorgeous birds.

No costume 19th c. SmithsonianManchu man's court coat early 20th c. SmithsonianA Manchu man’s court coat from the early 20th century. I love the contrast on the sleeves and asymmetrical closing.

Here’s a fragment from a Japanese Noh robe of the 18th century. It would make a wonderful applique pattern.

Japanese no robe fragment 18th c. Smithsonian

Applique from a door hanging made in India in the 20th century.

Indian appliqued door hanging 20th c. SmithsonianIndian 20th c. applique Smithsonian FS-6910_08An Indian appliqued wall hanging from the 20th century. What a great pattern for a medallion quilt.

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.

Embroidered Pakistan wall hanging 20th c. SmithsonianImages 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.

Japanese orihon bound books 20th c. Smithsonian


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5 responses to “Down The Rabbit Hole This Morning

  1. sandy


  2. No wonder you got lost! These are stunning. It is fascinating to see the beauty that has been created around the world.

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