Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50: Journey to Japan

Abstract Design in American Quilts at 50: Journey to Japan

In 1975-1976, expanded versions of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Abstract Design in American Quilts traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. Inspired by the plentiful and positive media coverage the exhibition had received in the U.S. and Europe, several Japanese museums and galleries invited collector-curators Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof to tour the exhibition and help introduce American style quilts to the Japanese public.

Japan was in the midst of robust economic growth, and leisure time pursuits such as needlework were being promoted in both the governmental and private sectors. Combined with Japan’s longstanding textile traditions and a general receptivity to American cultural influence, these phenomena led to an enthusiastic embrace of quiltmaking, which has continued in Japan to this day.

The artists featured in Journey to Japan were some of the earliest to adopt American style quiltmaking and are among the most respected Japanese quilt artists and teachers today. Each of them has created a new work for the exhibition inspired by one of the original pieces in Abstract Design in American Quilts.

Curated by Dr. Marin Hanson and Nao Nomura

Gottsch Gallery

Event Date
Friday, February 26, 2021 to Saturday, August 7, 2021