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Object Timeline

1980

  • Work on this object began.

1990

  • Work on this object ended.

2014

  • We acquired this object.

2019

  • You found it!

Katagami, Katagami: Waves, ca. 1985

This is a Katagami. It is dated ca. 1985 and we acquired it in 2014. Its medium is cut mulberry paper treated with fermented persimmon juice. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Katagami, a Japanese paper stencil dyeing technique popular for producing textiles during the Edo and Meiji periods, consists of numerous layers of Japanese mulberry paper joined together with fermented persimmon juice, which are then intricately carved into patterns meant to be repeated. Although katagami are intended for textile use, the stencils have also been deeply influential in late 19th and early 20th-century Western art and design. With nearly 400 stencils in the collection, Cooper Hewitt has one of the largest and most significant holdings of katagami in the United States.
This stencil is one of three stunning pieces offered as a gift to the museum by the Isekatagami Kyoudoukumiai, an organization of katagami artisans, dealers, and collectors based in Japan. The artisans who train in the craft of carving katagami often spend their entire careers perfecting a single technique. Each sheet under consideration represents a different carving technique. The sheets have never been used for printing and remain in exceptional condition. In addition, they date to the mid-1980s, a period of production that would enhance the historic continuum of the museum’s katagami collection.

It is credited Gift of Isekatagami Kyoudoukumiai.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 45.1 x 54.3 cm (17 3/4 x 21 3/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Katagami, Katagami: Waves, ca. 1985; Japan; cut mulberry paper treated with fermented persimmon juice; H x W: 45.1 x 54.3 cm (17 3/4 x 21 3/8 in.); Gift of Isekatagami Kyoudoukumiai; 2014-28-3

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/51589535/ |title=Katagami, Katagami: Waves, ca. 1985 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 March 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>