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Artsy Fartsy

March 30, 2010

Not too long ago, I headed over to the Memorial Art Gallery to see the Kimono exhibit. I know, I know–you’ve been meaning to go to that, but you better hurry because this is the last week! Unfortunately, I cannot dazzle you with my kimono photo skillz because I asked the guard if I could take pictures (“no”). You should never ask. Lesson (probably not) learned.

Anyway, since you probably won’t take advantage of this long weekend (nothing says Easter like old Japanese clothes!) and my priceless advice to actually go see the kimonos, I’ll share my thoughts, and you can pretend they were your thoughts. Don’t worry, thoughts are few and far between.

1. Kimono means thing you wear. I know we (non-Japanese) think of kimonos as being super fancy (a la geishas), but it is really just an article of clothing.

2. When displayed statically, kimonos are kind of boring.

3. The real beauty of the clothes we (non-Japanese) refer to as kimonos is really in the layering and movement—you know, in the wearing. Especially the get-ups that make it almost impossible to move or breathe—those are the best.

4. We non-kimono-wearing can no longer wear fun big prints because all of our clothes are just too small; you really need a single field from neck to toe to get away with a print that is a foot long.

5. Japanese society is much more fascinating than what they wear—isn’t that as it should be?

Once I was there, I poked around the museum, as I am wont to do. I like that folk art stuff, and I found some fun examples:
A charming shingle for an optometrist:

Wouldn’t you totally patronize this place? So much more fun than Lens Crafters.

A giant hat for a mad hatter:

Maybe it’s just because I have a good hat head, but I’d welcome a return to head-wear.

Looky here:

This is a weather vane of a flying, trumpeting angel that predates Moroni‘s return. I guess everyone in western New York was out looking for a vision.

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