Exhibit: Unbound: Highlights from the Phillips Library at the PEM

The Phillips Library, where the collection currently on exhibit at the PEM usually residesOf the 30+ objects on display at the Peabody Essex Museum in this exhibit, one display, in particular, piqued my curiosity. It contains a Japanese teahouse pop-up c.1820 from a collection of 90 such pop-ups. 

Each scaled-model teahouse is hand-drawn, hand-cut, and affixed to a base layer of paper into which it folds for storage. Neat packets of other folded teahouses rest nearby in the original wooden box made to house them. The pop-ups represent historic Japanese teahouses spanning from the 13th-19th centuries.

Unfortunately, only one of the pop-ups is currently unfolded and fully presented in the exhibit. It would have been great to have seen several of them unfolded together, forming a miniature Japanese teahouse village, of sorts. Since the exhibit continues for another year (through November 26, 2012), it's likely that the display will rotate through a few of the pop-ups at an interval the curators deem reasonable. Wish I knew the interval, so I wouldn't miss anything. Visit the PEM soon to see the first in the teahouse rotation.

by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast