Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 11:08 pm | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

‘East Meets West’ Exhibit Opens with Preview Party at Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum

Collectors exhibit tells story of Japanese kimono tradition and was provided by museum board member Steve Graves and wife Kathleen

 

An exceptional and never-seen-before exhibition opened on a warm and breezy Sunday afternoon at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. The “East Meets West: A Collectors’ Choice” exhibit tells the story of the Japanese kimono tradition from its insular Japanese culture to its integration with the West during the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.

The unique exhibit in two museum galleries has been made possible by board member Steve Graves and his wife, Kathleen, who moved to the Santa Ynez Valley 10 years ago. The couple have been collecting for more than 25 years.

The event included private tours of the galleries narrated by the collectors. The rare display of exquisite works of art in textiles included both Samurai and Japanese kimonos whose workmanship, detail and design will never be replicated. The exhibit was presented by the Costume Council.

The preview party featured a late afternoon snack of fresh sushi, authentic Japanese appetizers, sake, beer and wine, plus an authentic performance by Japanese taiko drum group Togen Daiko.

“It is the pattern on the surface of the kimono, rather than the cut of the garment, that is most significant,” Kathleen Graves said. “The emphasis on the surface pattern is in stark contrast to Western fashion where the cut of the garment signifies trends, status and wealth.

From left, Bill Reynolds, board member Kristin Reynolds and Karen Voorhis. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
From left, Bill Reynolds, board member Kristin Reynolds and Karen Voorhis. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

“With the kimono, social status, personal identity and cultural meanings are expressed through color and decoration. The choice of obi, the broad sash worn around the waist of a kimono, and accessories, such as combs and pins worn in the hair, are also important.

“Only Japan’s elite regularly wore the luxurious kimono. Most people would have only donned these beautiful silk garments on special occasions and were sometimes forbidden to do so all together.”

Steve Graves added, “This is a stunning exhibit and as good as any in the world. I am so proud of this museum.”

The special collection of kimono and obi illustrates the specialized skill used in the dyeing process. The method known as shibori, or tie-dyeing, completely unique to Japan, involves the binding, stitching, folding or clamping of the cloth before immersion in the dye.

In addition to the exquisite palettes on display, guests saw several different embroidery techniques used to create patterns and elements such as flowers and leaves. Most stitches are made from floss (untwisted) silk, but occasionally metallic thread also is used to dazzling effect in Japanese embroidery.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and the Parks-Janeway Carriage House celebrate the rich history of the Santa Ynez Valley, its pioneering settlers and the five early townships that formed the foundation of this unique region. Through its collection, exhibits and educational programs, the museum honors the valley’s past for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Click here for more information about the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House. Click here to become a member.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >