Silks for Thrones and Altars Chinese Costumes and Textiles book cover Re-envisioning Japan Meiji Fine Art Textiles book cover Exquisite Fabrics Traditional Weaving and Embroidery Patterns in China book cover

Buy Re-envisioning Japan and other scholarly books by John E. Vollmer at these fine booksellers

Upcoming Event

Saturday, March 3, 2018
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

Symposium celebrating the opening of the exhibition, From the Lands of Asia:
The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection.


  • Jean-Paul Desroches, Senior Curator of the French National Patrimony:  “A Quest for Asian Art: The Spirit of the Myers Collection”
  • Filippo Salviati, Professor, Department of Oriental Studies, “La Sapienza” University, Rome: “Radiant Stones: The Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture”
  • John E. Vollmer, Independent scholar: “Silk: Conspicuous Consumption and Lucrative Trade”
  • Sam Myers: “Stories for My Children and Grandchildren: a conversation with Jean-Paul Desroches and Jennifer Casler Price”

The exhibition in the Renzo Piano Pavilion will run from March 4 to August 19, 2018.
3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard Fort Worth, Texas 76107-2792 817-332-8451

Gyaluché costume: literally royal dress. Worn by lay officials on King’s New Year observed on 2nd day of Tibetan new year (usually in February or March). The original fabric was woven during the mid- to late 17th century for a Chinese Qing dynasty dragon robe. Because of the long life characters featured in its design, it was most probably made for the birthday of the emperor.
Myers Collection.

Past Event

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

During the early decades of the 17th century Manchu tribal peoples, living north of the Great Wall, established the Qing dynasty, the last of China’s imperial governments. This action signaled Manchu intention to assume to mandate of Heaven, by which China had been ruled since the mid-second millennium BCE. As a result and in the absence of a tradition of dressing like emperors, developing the wardrobe to sustain such imperial ambitions became an urgent priority.

John will address this topic in Devising Imperial Wardrobe: an exercise in Qing dynasty statecraft, a lecture to the Friends of Asian Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on November 29, 2017.

emperor's silk tapestry semi formal court coat

Emperor’s silk tapestry with silk and gold-metallic thread semi formal court coat (jifu) about 1770, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection 11.3985

Past Event

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
6:30–7:30 pm

Textile Museum of Canada
Toronto, Canada

Fine Art Textiles from the Japanese Meiji Period. Lecture by John Vollmer.

John Vollmer, independent curator and scholar of Asian art and textiles, presents a lecture exploring the global appeal of bijutsu senshoku: fine art Japanese textiles.

Please register or 416.599.5321 x2228.

Fine Art Textiles from the Japanese Meiji Period, Lecture by John Vollmer

Past Event

Thursday, November 9, 2017
11 am and 2 pm sessions

Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto, Canada

Workshop Master Class led by John E. Vollmer, Research Associate, Royal Ontario Museum

Cloth Cultures: Future Legacies of Dorothy K. Burnham:  International Conference at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

Past Event

Saturday, November 12, 2016
2–5 pm

New York University

Einstein Auditorium

34 Stuyvesant Street, New York

Keynote address:  Devising Imperial Wardrobe: an Exercise in Qing Dynasty Statecraft
Eastern Exposure: Dress and Textiles in China and Japan

Symposium program

Costume Studies Events

Department of Art and Art Professions

New York University — Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Symposium program

Past Event

Saturday, October 8, 2016
2 pm

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC)
533 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Diane Genre, retired owner of the New Orleans based Diane Genre Oriental Art Antiques, and author and editor John E. Vollmer in conversation about the project that resulted in the publishing of the book, Re-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles.

A book signing will follow the event.

This program is presented in conjunction with THNOC’s exhibition Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925, which invites visitors to explore 100 years of the city’s cosmopolitan retail scene.

Past Event

Sharon S. Takeda, Senior Curator and Department Head of Costume and Textiles, invites members of the Costume Council and East Asian Art Council to

Re­-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles

A lecture and book signing by John E. Vollmer, independent scholar

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
7 pm

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Study Center for Works on Paper and Photography, Art of the Americas Building
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

A book signing of Re­-envisioning Japan and a private viewing of related textiles from LACMA’s permanent collection will follow the lecture.

New York independent scholar John E. Vollmer will discuss his new publication, Re­-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles, a comprehensive examination of the exquisite large­scale designs and innovative artistry of fine art textiles (bijutsu senshoku) that generated a flurry of excitement in the West and Japan during the Meiji period (1868–1912). These luxurious textiles were designed and created by Japanese artists and artisans who sought to modernize traditional imagery and explore new modes of artistic expression in silk for an expanding international market.

RSVP to 323.857.­6260 or by Tuesday, September 20.

Past Event

Celebrate the publication of

Re-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles

by John E. Vollmer

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
6 – 8 pm

The Nippon Club, Rose Room
145 W 57th St, New York

Reception and Book Signing will follow.

Bijutsu senshōku, or fine art textiles, dazzled the world between the 1870s and 1920s. Seven distinguished scholars explore the collaboration of Meiji era luxury textile producers, artists and artisans who created a new class of textiles that enhanced Japan’s international prestige.

Featuring textiles from the collections of Diane Genre and Susan Tosk.

This publication was facilitated by the Japanese Art Society of America with support provided by the Rubin-Ladd Foundation and the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research.