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Meisen Summer Kimono with Cracked-Ice Pattern

Japan

Not on view

A vivid design of golden-yellow and silver-gray polygons accented by thick black outlines adorns this unlined summer kimono. So-called cracked-ice patterning dates to the Edo period (1615–1868), but this modern rendering of the motif resembles contemporary abstract painting. World War II–era restrictions on the manufacture of certain goods interrupted the vogue for meisen kimonos, but production resumed in about 1951. The industry experienced a brief revival due to the need to replace large quantities of clothing destroyed during the war as well as the special procurement demands of the Korean War (1950–53). In these years the bold, large-scale, abstract motifs characteristic of meisen reemerged in reflection of the relief that followed the turmoil of war and the celebration of a new era.

Meisen Summer Kimono with Cracked-Ice Pattern, Plain-weave silk warps with machine-spun silk wefts in double ikat (heiyō-gasuri), Japan

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