Futon Cover

The mythical phoenix on this futon cover symbolizes peace and happiness; the designs are drawn freehand in a rice paste that resists the indigo dye and colored pigments. These textiles, which traditionally formed part of a bride's trousseau, were often decorated with bold designs that carry auspicious meaning.

Artist/maker unknown, Japanese

Geography:
Made in Japan, Asia

Date:
19th century

Medium:
Plain weave cotton with rice-paste resist design (tsutsugaki)

Dimensions:
76 x 53 1/4 inches (193 x 135.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2000-113-2

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by the Otto Haas Charitable Trust, The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Maude de Schauensee, Theodore R. and Barbara B. Aronson, Edna and Stanley C. Tuttleman, The Hamilton Family Foundation, and Maxine and Howard H. Lewis, 2000

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Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    The purchase of Harry G. C. Packard’s notable collection of thirty-eight traditional Japanese textiles has significantly enhanced the Museum’s holdings of textiles and clothing from Japan by adding outstanding examples in the mingei tradition—crafts made for use in daily life.

    The Museum’s hitherto modest collection of Japanese folk textiles was formed relatively recently with such acquisitions as the kasuri fabrics (textiles woven with dye-resistant yarns) purchased in 1965 from Mrs. Edgar J. Stone’s collection, and a varied group of garments acquired in 1996, which included a fisherman’s coat, a sledding vest, and a fireman’s helmet. The purchase of Packard’s collection expands the holdings to include bed coverings (futonji), entry curtains (noren), and clothing that ranges from firemen’s coats to Okinawa kimonos to garments made by the Ainu people. Over half of the textiles in the collection feature masterful examples of the tsutsugaki technique—a process by which designs are drawn freehand in a rice paste that resists the indigo dye and colored pigments. These textiles, which traditionally formed part of a bride’s trousseau, were often decorated with bold designs that carry auspicious meaning. The mythical phoenix on one futon cover, for example, symbolized peace and happiness, while the tea utensils on another reflect the significance of the tea ceremony.

    Packard’s approach to acquiring Japanese art in all mediums was marked by the outstanding connoisseurship evident in his collections now dispersed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and this Museum. Dilys Blum, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 78.