Origami Butterflies – A Trip to The Printing Museum in Houston

There were so many things about the day my Mom would have loved; the connection to Japan where we had lived twice, an appreciation for another artist that worked with paper, and a day with her grand-daughter. We weren’t expecting the installation titled “Paper Couture” by artist Joan Son, but it was the highlight!

First, a little bit about the museum. We took my niece, writer Tawny Lara and her partner Nick for a bit of history on journalism and the print medium. I studied journalism as an undergraduate and my niece is a “gets paid to write” writer, so definitely up our alley. The museum, located in Houston, TX, celebrates the intersection of the history, technology and art of printing and has been open for almost 40 years.

A few of the artifacts contained in the museum:

The special exhibit by Joan Son, “Paper Couture” was in honor of her mother who had saved Son’s childhood paper dolls. The exhibit itself was a recreation of some of her earlier paper doll dress designs, only in life size! Below is a selection of those designs:

The artist used linear crumpling and quilling to create texture, and used origami and acrylic paint for design details.

The artist, who created some kimonos specifically for the Houston exhibit, used paper and photographs to create stunning robes. Below is my favorite:

The images of pebbles are photographs, and the rest of the panels are paper.

Towards the end of the exhibit, we found this 1930’s sewing machine that belonged to the artist’s mother, along with more origami butteries!

It reminded me of my own Mother’s old Singer sewing machine. As I mentioned above, my Mother was an artist who worked with paper (among other media). She was with us in spirit and I know she enjoyed the day.

The Print Museum is now re-opened and very much worth the trip into town.

6 thoughts on “Origami Butterflies – A Trip to The Printing Museum in Houston

  1. What an interesting museum, especially that special exhibition! The paper dresses are beautiful and I love the origami couture 🙂 My mother also had an old Singer machine so that photo took me back, as did the early computer.


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