Stencil (Katagami), date unknown
Mulberry paper, persimmon juice, silk thread
16-1/4 x 20-1/2 in.
Gift of David and Gladys Wright, 1990.34.170
Photographer: Philip Mrozinski
The Japanese artist used the forms of the natural world as a primary source of inspiration. Motifs such as butterflies, cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums and bamboo were frequently used to adorn ceramics, textiles and other decorative objects.
This Japanese stencil with a cut-out bamboo pattern was acquired by Wright during his first trip to Japan in 1905. Japanese paper stencils, or katagami, functioned similarly to printing blocks. The design was transferred onto fabric prior to dyeing.Wright was an important collector of Japanese prints and decorative objects. Although it was not customary to collect Japanese stencils, as these objects were considered tools rather than artistic works in their own right, it may have been the strong graphic quality of the stencils as well as the motifs drawn from nature which appealed to Wright’s design sensibility.