Michigan Quilt Project
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The Deborah Harding Redwork Collection

Mikado Quilt
Maker Unknown
Possible made in Pennsylvania
66” x 66”
MSUM #2001:160.2
Photo by Hossein Montazaran, all rights reserved Michigan State University Museum

Japanese-inspired designs became increasingly popular in America after the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where more than nine million people were reported to have visited the Japanese pavilion. A variety of Asian-inspired motifs became popular in American art, including cranes, kimono clad figures, fans, teacups, vases, bowls, paper lanterns, spiders in webs, apple blossoms, and chrysanthemums. The Mikado, a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan set in Japan, debuted to amazing success in 1885. By May 1886, patterns inspired by the Mikado began appearing in Godey’s Ladies Book and soon after, Mikado patterns were offered by a number of magazines.

By Mary Worrall from Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America, exhibit.


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