Featured Topic: Clothing & Fashion

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Imperial Silks (of the Manchu Court)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
"When the nomadic Manchu warriors overthrew the Ming dynasty in 1644 and founded Ch'ing [Qing], they took over the world's largest population, greatest bureaucracy, and one of the most luxurious courts in existence. They remained, however, a clear minority... To ease an orderly political transition while guarding against total cultural assimilation, the Manchus adjusted to a Chinese style bureaucracy and adopted the Buddhist religion while simultaneously enforcing certain ethnic and cultural differences. One of the clearest distinctions made was that of court attire." An overview, plus 14 related examples of court attire from the Manchu period, all with descriptions.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/explore/explore-collection-imperial-silks.cfm
Dragon Robes of China's Last Dynasty
San Diego Museum of Art
"Dragon Robes of China's Last Dynasty": excellent online exhibit, images, text, historical background, the silk industry, the Chinese concept of the universe, symbolism. Detailed glossary, quiz, chart of bureaucratic hierarchy, bibliography. Very comprehensive for teachers and students.

Go to Museum Resource:
Victoria and Albert Museum
"Japan has a very rich textile history, a major focus of interest and artistic expression being the kimono. Meaning 'the thing worn,' the term kimono was first adopted in the mid-19th century." A special feature about the kimono, with in-depth discussions of the kimono's history, production (weaving, dyeing, embroidery), and decoration (symbols and motifs), plus 51 kimonos from the V&A's collection.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/asia_features/kimono/index.html
Artfully Adorned: Surface Design in East Asian Costume
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
"The focus of this exhibition is ... the wide variety of surface design techniques used throughout East Asia. Some of the dominant methods used to embellish textiles include embroidery, applique, resist dye techniques, textile painting, couching, tie-dye, and the application of gold leaf." Includes examples from China, Korea, and Japan.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/costume/artfully%20adorned.htm
Fashioning Kimono: Dress in Early 20th Century Japan
Victoria and Albert Museum
"These boldly patterned and brilliantly coloured kimono reveal the dynamism of Japanese textile design in the early 20th century." A short introduction plus 13 featured objects with descriptions.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/past_exhns/kimono/index.html
Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto: Japanese Fashion in the Twentieth Century
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to Japanese fashion since the 1960s, with a focus on the designers Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto. With 10 examples of the artists' works from the museum's collection.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jafa/hd_jafa.htm
Netsuke: From Fashion Fobs to Coveted Collectibles
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to the netsuke, a decorative accessory worn with the kimono since the 17th century. With images of 15 related objects.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nets/hd_nets.htm
Noh Costume
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
An introduction to the development of Noh costumes since the 14th century. With images of 10 Edo-period robes from the MMA's collection.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nohc/hd_nohc.htm
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