Memoirs of the Kimono

The elegance of the kimono is matched only by its historical significance as a symbol of Japanese culture. The material, made of fine silks, and the colors, bright and vibrant, may seem really exotic to Westerners, but the kimono serves a very practical purpose: comfort. The garment was a staple of Japanese fashion for about 1200 years, until the 20th century, when it became synonymous with formal occasions. An exhibition at the Society of the Four Arts Wednesday will present 97 kimonos from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, considered the last era of the “living kimono, when kimono was being worn by the large majority of the populace,” according to the museum’s website. In addition to the garments, the exhibit, titled “Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco & Modernism in Japan,” will include photos from the same era to help museum visitors understand the kimono in its historical context. The show is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m., through January 10. Four Arts is located at 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, and admission costs $5. The museum will host a lecture December 12 with Annie Van Assche on the exhibit at 11 a.m. Call 561-655-7226 or visit
Wed., Dec. 9, 11 a.m., 2009

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