The Public Paperfolding History Project

Index Page

x

 
The Paperfolding of Yoko Ono
 

Chronology

1933

Yoko Ono was born in 1933.

**********

1961

According to this article: 'In the early 60's, Yoko's life was not exactly a bed of roses. Despite the fact that her parents were wealthy and living nearby in Scarsdale, she had cut herself off from that lifestyle, preferring to make it on her own. Toshi occasionally worked as an accompanist for extra money, and Yoko found extra work as a waitress. Yoko also was the manager of an apartment building and taught calligraphy, sumi painting, origami and Japanese folk music in New York's public schools during this "starving artist" period.'

**********

This photo is said to show Yoko Ono at Abraham & Strauss bookshop NYC in 1961' (see anonymous comment here).The article itself dates the photo to 1963, but 1961 is more plausible as Ono appears to be demonstrating designs from the paperfolding kit 'Origami: The Oriental Art of Paper Folding' by Harry C Helfman, which was published by Platt and Munk in New York in 1960, a copy of which can be seen behind her, with a stack of further copies at the bottom right.

**********

This photo, by David Follansbee, shows Ono wearing the same kimono while she folds and is probably from the same year.

**********

1961

This article from the Chicago Daily Tribune of 23rd July 1961 is partly about a forthcoming exhibition of Japanese art at which Yoko Ono is booked to demonstrate origami and calligraphy.

**********

The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3 Sep., 1961 pp. 56-57 carried an advert for the exhibition. The second paragraph on the second page mentions Yoko Ono.

**********

1964

Yoko Ono included a piece about folding paper in her book 'Grapefruit', first published by Wunternaum Press, Tokyo, Japan, in 1964..

**********