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Object Timeline

1925

  • Work on this object ended.

1976

  • We acquired this object.

2008

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Stencil, Kata-gami: Bracken Fronds and Water, late 19th–early 20th century

This is a Stencil. It is dated late 19th–early 20th century and we acquired it in 1976. Its medium is cut mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin and silk thread. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Delicate, curling bracken fronds seem to follow the swirling course of some river or stream in this serene composition, representative of the Japanese art of Katagami. The creation of such stencils involves a long and laborious process, whereby several sheets of paper, taken from the inner bark of the Mulberry tree, are layered together with persimmon juice lacquer to form a strong yet supple support. The design is then carefully cut out from this stencil and held together using silk threads. Typically, the completed stencil would then be used in the katasome resist-dye process on textiles to obtain a printed motif on a kimono, for example. This involves placing the stencil on the dyed fabric and covering it over with rice paste. The motifs were often abstract interpretations inspired by nature – such is the case for this one.

This object was donated by Helen Snyder. It is credited Gift of Helen Snyder.

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Its dimensions are

30.5 x 43.2 cm (12 x 17 in.)

Cite this object as

Stencil, Kata-gami: Bracken Fronds and Water, late 19th–early 20th century; Japan; cut mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin and silk thread; 30.5 x 43.2 cm (12 x 17 in.); Gift of Helen Snyder; 1976-103-61

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18490135/ |title=Stencil, Kata-gami: Bracken Fronds and Water, late 19th–early 20th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>