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Folded Books & Other Artists’ Books in Japan's History: A Personal Exploration

Online presentation

Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 7pm

Sarah Loudon shares her pandemic exploration of orihon (accordion books) and ehon (artists books) of Japan. Sarah was curious about book forms introduced from China and Korea and how they developed in the hands of Japanese creators. An ongoing question for her has been about the relationship between the two- and three-dimensional in these books.

In this talk, after a brief overview of book forms in East Asia, we’ll look at a few outstanding Japanese examples from the Heian period (794-1195) during the height of aristocratic culture and a few from the Edo period (1603-1867) when woodblock printed books had a broad audience.

Sarah Loudon had a long career on the staff of the Seattle Art Museum, primarily in developing programs for Asian art and cultures. She concluded her work there in January, after seven years as Director of SAM's Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas. Making books is now an ongoing pursuit, instead of a rare treat.


(upper) Collection of Thirty-Six Master Poets, early 12th century

2 pages of 1st volume of collected poems of Yamabe Akahito

Silver, gold, colour, and ink on ornamented paper collage.

(lower) Ferryboat man with courtiers, published after 1826

Nakamura Hōchū (Japanese, died 1819)

Pages from Korin painting manual

Metropolitan Museum of Art


Sarah's presentation was recorded and is now available on our YouTube page by clicking here:


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