2012 Thru Oct 21, 46 decorative bookbinding by Japanese artist on view at LACMA

LACMA Ohie Toshio Bookbinding Saigyo

Ohie Toshio; Karasawa Hitoshi, The Life of Saigyo, 1995, leather-bound book with slipcase and chemise, engravings and prints by Karasawa Hitoshi, biography of the poet Saigyo by Tsuji Kunio, published by Shinkosha, collection of Ohie Toshio.


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents the first solo museum exhibition for Japanese bookbinder and designer, Ohie Toshio (b 1949).

On view August 4-October 21, 2012 in the Pavilion for Japanese Art, Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book features forty-six art works including books with decorative bindings and original graphics for book illustration designed and made by Ohie and his collaborators.

Ohie Toshio introduced decorative bookbinding to Japan in 1974 after studying both binding and tooling arts in France for five years.

At the time, leather-bound books were not made or collected in Japan. Decorative bookbinding had to be aligned with Japanese taste before local audiences could appreciate it.

By the mid-1980s, through Ohie’s efforts, patrons began to see their favorite works of literature as something to be treasured in a splendid binding.

This was accomplished through his use of fine materials including deluxe Japanese paper such as ganpi or mitsumata in book interiors, mosaic-onlaid leathers, and the incorporation of frontispiece illustrations by highly popular Japanese graphic artists such as Yamamoto Toko or Karasawa Hitoshi.

From August through October, Ohie Toshio will be in the exhibition galleries answering questions about his work and talking with visitors about the art of bookbinding.

Ohie Toshio will be at LACMA on the following dates and the location:

August 14 and 26, 2 pm

September 11 and 30, 2 pm

October 9 and 14, 2 pm

Pavilion for Japanese Art, level 3.  Free, no reservations required.

In addition, on October 21 at 3 pm in the Dorothy Collins Brown Auditorium at LACMA, Ohie Toshio will present an illustrated lecture on his approach to binding books. This lecture will be translated.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. (323) 857-6000   www.lacma.org