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Painting with Thread: A Talk with Peter Sinton

Fukusa from the Sinton Collection. Photo by Nina Johnson

Commemorating the opening of the exhibition Painting with Thread: The Art and Culture of Fukusa, Peter Sinton will share a talk on the artworks featured in the collection and on the tradition of gift-giving in Japanese culture. Fukusa are ornate squares of Japanese silk traditionally used in formal gift-giving ceremonies. The elaborate designs and materials used to create the fukusa revealed a message imbued with symbolism about the gift, gift-giver, and gift-giving occasion to the recipient. The exhibition is located in the Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery, and features a selection of pieces from the Peter and Beverly Sinton Japanese Gift and Altar Cover Collection, showcasing the art of gift-giving through the beauty of fukusa.

About Peter and Beverly Sinton:  

Peter and Beverly Sinton of San Francisco, CA have long held an interest and passion for Japanese art. Peter is a 4th generation San Franciscan and Beverly is a 4th generation Japanese American from Honolulu. Together, they spent two years in the Peace Corps and throughout their careers pursued an interest in art collecting and Japanese textiles. In 2024, they generously donated their collection of fukusa, gift-covers, and uchishiki, altar covers, to Portland Japanese Garden to be enjoyed and appreciated by guests as The Peter and Beverly Sinton Gift and Altar Cover Collection.  

Peter and Beverly Sinton, 2024

In addition to a lifetime of collecting art, the couple share a commitment to public service. After earning an MA from Stanford, Peter Sinton pursued a journalism career, writing for Time and Business Week magazines as well as the San Francisco Chronicle. Peter has served as a volunteer docent at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and board member of the Society for Asian Art.  Beverly Sinton earned a BA in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley and worked for a law firm and workplace evaluation company. She also volunteered at Shanti Project and Zen Hospice to support terminally ill patients, as well as the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. On June 23, 2024 Portland Japanese Garden looks forward to hosting the couple as Peter Sinton presents on the fascinating world of Japanese textiles from their decades of collecting.  

Thank you to our sponsors:

James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Toshiba International Foundation

Oregon Arts Commission

Portland Japanese Garden receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts.