The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota

From Feb. 8 through April 26, the Canton Museum of Art will host rare and exotic visual splendor from Japan. “Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota” is a landmark exhibition of oversized kimono that, when displayed together form a panoramic landscape.

Kubota (1917-2003) developed complex techniques of tie-dyeing and ink drawing on textiles whose rich results are reminiscent of French Impressionist paintings.


Although he dreamed of creating 75 kimono that would form a single enormous tapestry depicting all four seasons, Kubota was able to complete just 30 kimono before his death. Known as the “Symphony of Light,” they depict autumn and winter.

These 30 vividly colored and intricately textured and detailed kimono will be displayed at the Canton museum, along with a dozen more that similarly reflect Kubota’s love of nature.

This is only the second time Kubota’s kimono have traveled to the United States. The first was for a 1995 exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Mounted at a cost of more than $1 million, “Kimono As Art” is sponsored by the Timken Foundation. The exhibition debuted in November at the Timken Museum of Art and San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego, Calif. “Kimono As Art” will be accompanied by a full roster of events, including a gala opening and Japanese tea ceremonies at the art museum, a Japanese Film Festival at the Palace Theatre, and productions of “The Mikado” at Kent State University Stark Campus and “Madam Butterfly” by the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

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