Author(s): Helen Loveday
The Asian art collections at the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art, Geneva, are world-renowned. This new volume gathers together for the first time a group of 121 Japanese Buddhist textiles dating from the 18th and 19th centuries purchased by Alfred Baur in 1927. Concentrating not on kimonos or monks' kesa robes, this collection is made up of uchishiki, a type of textile not very well known outside Japan, used to cover temple altars. While small, these cloths provide an important insight into the religious practices of the period as well as being testaments to the extraordinary skill of Kyoto weavers. Like the kesa, they were made from lengths of sumptuous silk donated to a temple by the faithful. With elaborate polychrome decoration, highlighted by gold or silver thread, they stand out as examples of the most intricate and luxurious weaving and give tangible expression to the extent of the donor's faith. Superb photographs are accompanied by a discussion of the history of silk weaving in Japan and the techniques and decorative motifs used, as well as full scholarly notes.
This is the twelfth in a series of volumes documenting the Asian art collections of Alfred Baur (1865-1951).
Helen Loveday studied Chinese at Oxford University, where she was awarded a doctorate with a thesis on ancient Chinese archaeology. She is a curator at the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art and teaches Asian art at Geneva University.