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Courtly elegance to city chic: Highlights of Japanese kimono through history

September 21, 2019 @ 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Speaker: Ann MacArthur

Academy Travel is proud to sponsor the Friends of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery’s Artz Talk 2019 program.

This September sees Academy Travel tour leader and Japanese art and culture expert Ann Macarthur speaking on the “Japanese kimono through history”.

Highlights of Japanese kimono through history
The long panels of the Japanese kimono with straight seams uninterrupted by darts or fastening have served as a canvas for women to express their status as well as individual style. The twelve-layered kimono worn by women at the ancient court in Kyoto continues to inspire designers today. Its multicoloured layering exemplified the subtle sensitivity to nature and seasonal changes so important to Japanese aesthetics. Fast forward to the early modern period in the 17th century and the centre of style in dress moves to the city where the concentration of wealth inspired ostentatious finery. Woodblock prints and pattern books were pored over by courtesan and commoner alike in pursuit of the latest trends. This illustrated talk on the historical highlights of Japanese kimono includes examples of textile decoration and motifs and concludes with a look at contemporary attempts to revitalize the traditional dress.

Ann MacArthur
Ann MacArthur is one of Australia’s foremost experts in Japanese art and culture, she has over 20 years’ experience as a museum educator. Ann holds degrees in Asian art and management from two US universities and from 1993 to 2015 was Senior Coordinator of Asian Programs for the Art Gallery of NSW. She speaks fluent Japanese and has led seven previous cultural tours to Japan, for the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Ann is currently a curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science in Sydney, specialising in the Museum’s Asian collection. Ann played a key role in several of Australia’s most memorable exhibitions of Asian art and culture, including the highly-successful Buddha: radiant awakening held at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The cost for this lecture is:

  • Friends of Hazelhurst $8
  • Non-members $14

The lecture includes drinks and nibbles, with time for a Q&A with the presenter.

Bookings can be made by phoning the gallery on 8536 5700 or at the Hazelhurst Administration Desk.


September 21, 2019
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre
782 Kingsway
Gymea, NSW 2227 Australia
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(02) 8536 5700