June 17, 1947
On Tuesday, June 17, the Brooklyn Museum will open to the public an exhibition of “Reproductions of Historic Far Eastern Textiles.” The exhibition will be shown through the courtesy of the United States Commercial Company, an agency of the Federal Government, and is circulated by the American Federation of Arts. The materials were sent to this country by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Tokyo, with the purpose of creating a real interest and a possible market for these fine materials.
The weavers of these 33 reproductions are, for the most part, elderly Japanese who have spent their lives at the loom. The Japanese firm Tatsumura, manufacturer of these reproductions, has with great difficulty maintained its traditions and held together during the war years the men whose skill is so vital in this work.
Although the original material is preserved in Japan, it is essentially Chinese in character and may possibly have been imported from China. In any case more ancient oriental textiles are preserved in Japan than in any other country of Asia. They are housed in the VIII century treasure house called Shoso-in, in temples, or in private collections. As these fragments are jealously guarded by the Japanese and are seldom seen by visitors, it is fortunate to be able to see reproductions of them, reproductions which often have an advantage over the originals if only because they are long bolt lengths and not fragments. The original colors as seen when the fabric was new, are often more exact in these reproductions than in the faded originals, as they are sometimes reproduced after observing the underside of a seam where the color is often preserved in all its original brilliance.
The exhibition will remain on view in the sub-balcony gallery through July 13th.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1947 - 1952. 04-06/1947, 087. View Original