These stencils date from the 1750s to the 1860s, and were acquired by the Silver Studio in the 1890s as a source of design inspiration.
In 2008 we received a MLA Stewardship Grant that enabled us to conserve and box the stencils to appropriate conservation standards.
The stencils are made of mulberry paper and are very fragile. We employed a student conservator to place each one into a melinex sleeve with an archival paper support. This made it much easier to see and handle them.
This project has had a huge impact over the years, laying the groundwork for much further research on the collection.
As a result of this conservation work we were able to secure funding from Arts Council England for a research project called Katagami in Practice: Japanese Stencils in the Art School
A book about the Silver Studio and the Art of Japan is available from the Middlesex University online shop
You will find more suggestions for related reading in our online Reading List