CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 25, 2000
UI Museum of Art will show quilts from Iowa's sister state in Japan Sept.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will show 14 colorful
handmade quilts from Yamanashi Prefecture, Iowa's sister state in Japan, Sept.
The exhibition, "Sharing Traditions: Quilts from Yamanashi," celebrates
the 40th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Iowa and Yamanashi.
The exhibition was organized by Emily J.G. Vermillion, the museum's curator
The exhibition reveals an influence from Iowa quilting traditions on a group
of women from Yamanashi Prefecture that has been one of the many results of
the cultural exchanges between the sister states. This influence can be traced
back to 1995, when a quilters' group from Yamanshi visited the Des Moines
Area Quilter's Guild through the sister states program. Since then, the group
from Yamanashi and the group from Des Moines have established an exchange
program and a close friendship.
The Yamanashi quilts in "Sharing Traditions" combine American
patterns with a Japanese aesthetic and craftsmanship. Many of them use antique
kimono fabrics together with contemporary textiles and designs.
"I first saw a selection of these colorful and very appealing quilts
in 1999, when I was one of 16 Iowans participating in the Women's Study Seminar
in Japan," Vermillion explained. "The purpose of the seminar was
to examine the ways in which women have helped to shape the culture of Japan,
primarily in education and the arts. I thought the quilts were a perfect example
of women sharing artistic and cultural traditions."
The cultural exchange continues this year, as 15 people from Des Moines
will attend a quilt show in Yokohama, Japan, in November. Included in that
show will be a huge quilt made by 70 Iowans and 70 Yamanashi quilters honoring
the 40-year Iowa-Yamanashi friendship. Also planning to attend the Yokohama
event are Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and First Lady Christie Vilsack.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is
open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m.
to 9 p.m. Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered
parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside
Drive and just north of the museum.
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~artmus
on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at