Saturday, September 12, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM


Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning: Textiles of Japan

Thomas Murray, Collector and Independent Researcher

Saturday, September 12

11am EDT 

Join collector and independent researcher Thomas Murray for an online discussion of the central themes of his book Textiles of Japan, published in 2019 with co-author Virginia Soenksen.

Thomas Murray will discuss traditional clothing and fabrics that were made and used in the islands of the Japanese archipelago between the late 18th and the mid-20th century. The talk will cover daily dress, work-wear, and festival garb, and follows the Arts and Crafts philosophy of the Mingei Movement. Murray will present subtly patterned cotton fabrics—often indigo dyed from the main islands of Honshu and Kyushu—along with garments from the more remote islands: the graphic bark cloth, nettle fiber, and fish skin robes of the aboriginal Ainu in Hokkaido and Sakhalin in the north, and the brilliantly colored cotton kimonos of Okinawa to the far south. Through numerous examples from his collection, Murray will offer insight into Japan's complex textile history, and inspiration for today's designers and artists. The Thomas Murray Collection of Japanese Textiles was acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2019, with an exhibition scheduled for fall 2021.

About Thomas Murray

Thomas Murray is an independent researcher, collector, lecturer, and private dealer of art with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, animistic art from varied cultures, and Indian Trade Cloths from the 14th–18th centuries. Murray has been a contributing editor to HALI Magazine for the last 30 years, and was former president of the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association.

How to Participate

Register below.  Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up early. After you register, we will email you a link and instructions for joining our program online via Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (11 a.m. EDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.  

Our regular attendees know that Rug Mornings typically include a show and tell of textiles brought in by participants. In order to simulate this experience virtually, we invite you to submit high-resolution photographs of pieces from your personal collection that fit our theme. Please send your images to us at by Thursday, September 10, to be considered (keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate all submissions). Please include information about where your piece was made, its approximate age, and any interesting details, and indicate if you would like your name to be mentioned.

About Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings

Collectors and experts discuss textile topics and display examples from their personal holdings. You are invited to sumbit related pieces to share during the program. This series is named in honor of late Textile Museum trustee emeritus, Harold M. Keshishian.





Online registration for this event has now closed.