Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Saturday, after Karen arrived from Michigan, I briefly showed her around the studio before we took off to Canton, OH for the exhibit Kimono as Art: the Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota at the Canton Museum of Art.

It's a two hour drive and we reached our destination at a quarter after 4 - only 45 minutes left before they closed. Where did the time go?

When we approached the ticket desk, she said they weren't selling any more tickets because it had been a very busy day. She asked us to return another time. We told her we drove from Columbus and would be unable to return. And I had tried phoning to inquire about a cut off time for admissions, but all I could get was the voice mail system.

We were disappointed. Not even a peek was possible. We resigned ourselves to browsing the gift shop and flipping through the catalog.

While we were in the gift shop, the same woman approached us and asked if we were the ones from Columbus. Much to our delight, she consulted with her superior and they decided to let us in after all! After expressing our gratitude and paying for our tickets we scurried in knowing we only had half an hour left.

I was prepared to be dazzled. Someone told me it brought her to tears. In the first room were about 10 kimonos. Each one a beauty. But I wasn’t dazzled. Then I went into the next room. O M G.

30 beautifully lit larger than life silk kimonos arranged around the room. They hung side by side barely touching. Landscapes on each kimono transitions onto the next. Colors of each kimono oh so subtly changes and melts into the next. Textures relates & morphs from one into the next.

These kimonos depict the seasons from autumn to winter. Kubota planned on a complete series for all four seasons. 75 kimonos total. But he only completed these 30 before he died in 2003.

If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have known what I'd missed. But having seen it, I am really really thankful I got that chance. The photos in the catalog were good but doesn't do them justice.

What amazing work. I was dazzled.


  1. I feel so ungrateful. I live 35 minutes from Canton and have not gone to see the show. I am still debating if I want to spend the time to see it - I am just so busy right now. Your review and determination is making me rethink my position.

  2. I've see so many exhibitions that I'm a bit jaded. This one really knocks my socks off. You can see it all in less than an hour yet you'd want to drink it in. I encourage you to take advantage of this rare opportunity. You're lucky - I wish the museums here are open 3 nights a week.