Page Last Updated: Wednesday, 04 November 2015 13:35 EDT, 1986, 2007, 2008, 2010


by Dean S. Hartley, Jr.

May 18 - June 13, 1986 masur museum of art

In World War II - 1942 in Guadalcanal - most Marines were looking for the souvenir Samurai sword. I was no different and did get my Samurai sword, which is now part of a pretty fair collection of Japanese swords dating back to 1055 A.D.

However, there was a strange twist. In that muddy desperate place, along with the sword came an amazing bit of beauty completely out of place. From what original owner, I can't guess - but there it was - a silk kimono (a little mud stained) with a two tone background and a magnificent peacock embroidered in full colors on the back, along with accompanying embroidered flowers.

The kimono came back with me, and is on display with others in this show. Somehow, that one unexpected bit of beauty triggered an interest in fine Oriental kimonos, robes, and suits that has grown to what you will see on display. There are Japanese kimono for everyday wear, kimono for visiting, over-kimono for weddings, and an elaborate over-kimono for very formal occasions. There is a Samurai's formal kamishimo (court dress), a small girl's holiday kimono, and a simple Chinese man's robe. There is a woman's suit of red silk blouse and skirt with silver and gold threads embroidery of the Chinese phoenix - and there is a woman's suit of the heaviest possible gold and silver thread dragon design. Further, there are sashes (obi) for waist bands of Japanese kimono, of various styles, patterns, and colors.

I suggest you look at them for the beauty of the silk, the skill of the weavers, those who used the various dyes, and the intricacy of the embroidery. They are for looking at and enjoying. There is no real message - just some beauty to take away in your mind's eye.

Dean Hartley

masur museum of art
city of monroe . 1400 south grand . monroe . louisiana 71201
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 10:00 - 6:00, Sat.-Sun. 2:00 - 5:00, Mon. Closed


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