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Past Exhibits

KIMONO: Traditions, Pattern and Symbolism

Departing from its Valley history tradition, the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum presents Kimono: Tradition, Pattern & Symbolism, a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring over 40 stunning kimonos from the private collection of a local resident.

Kimono meaning, ‘the thing worn,’ is a term that was adopted in the mid-19th century. Prior to this time, this Japanese garment was known as a kosode. By the 16th century, the kosode (or kimono) was the principal form of dress for all classes and both sexes in Japan. From that time, the kimono has remained an enduring symbol of traditional Japanese culture.

The kimonos displayed in the Museum’s exhibit have been collected not only for their intrinsic beauty but for the techniques employed by Japanese artisans in constructing the kimono. Each kimono is completely handmade and custom in design. In addition to a large display of kimonos, the exhibit explores how the stunning designs are created on the fabric of each kimono.

Featured is the art of Shibori, a specialized Japanese tie-dyeing technique, and Yuzen, a process which employs several resist dyeing methods, beautiful embroidery and elaborate gold-leafing.

This never to be displayed again exhibit is a must see as it rivals the exhibits seen in much larger Japanese American museums. Events such as a Japanese tea ceremony, curator tours and a talk on the layering of the kimono garment are being held in conjunction with the exhibit.

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