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An exhibit of Modern Japanese and English Handicrafts will open today at the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art, in the Coop building. The exposition will continue until January 25.
Muneyoshi Yanagi, who recently lectured in the Fine Arts Department, has arranged the display. Examples of English and Japanese weaving and pottery are its features. In speaking of his work, Yanagi says, "The present exhibition of pottery, textiles, lacquer and metal work of Japanese and English workers is especially noteworthy because in it is shown in America for the first time the work of a group of people who are wholly uninfluenced by methods of modern commercial production. In so far as these methods detract from the quality, beauty, and vitality of things made for personal or domestic use.
"We have all of us at one time or another of our lives been struck by the charm of textiles and pottery made either before the development of the factory system, with its, standardized mechanical processes, or, recently, in more or less remote country districts by people working by hand with simple tools in natural materials in a traditional manner. We know that this charm is due in part to traditional form, for no form or pattern can become traditional unless it is pleasing and well adapted for use: yet another and no less significant reason why these objects are beautiful is that, in consequence of their possessing the quality and liveliness of hand work, they are not only pleasing to the eye and wear well, holding our interest to the very end, but instead of becoming dingy and faded actually improve with age. This can hardly ever be said of machine-produced articles whose uniformity of texture and lack of vitality (and the same applies to pottery no less than to textiles) cause them to slak back into shabbiness and monotony the moment their novelty as fashions and their unworn freshness have departed.
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