Saturated: Dye-Decorated Cloths from North and West Africa
Dallas Museum of Art
August 16, 2013-Summer 2014 | Level 3
“Saturated: Dye-Decorated Cloths from North and West Africa focuses on and celebrates the dyer’s art from North and West Africa, including the countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Drawn primarily from the DMA’s collection, this exhibition presents eleven dye-decorated cloths produced by traditional techniques and worn as garments or accessories. Before the introduction of European manufactured printed textiles to Africa in the 19th century, textile designs were made with natural dyes on plain homespun cotton, wool, raffia, or other materials. Women were most often the dyers, and dye-decorated cloth was a major form of feminine artistic expression.” Details and more images here.
Africa Wrapped, Robed, and Beaded
Art Institute of Chicago
Saturday, May 25, 2013–Sunday, October 6, 2013 : Gallery 137
“Dress is among the most personal forms of visual expression, creating a buffer and a bridge between the private and the public self and acting as a highly visible indicator of an individual’s current position or future aspirations. All of the status-related aspects of personal dress—the plentiful use of sumptuous materials, the showcasing of labor-intensive details, and the sacrifice of comfort for a display of luxury—play a part in the conspicuous presentation of social identity. Special forms of luxury dress may be related to position, prestige, or wealth. They may also signal particular standing within a community or a moment of transition from one role to another. Such garments often exhibit exceptional design and craftsmanship. They are also frequently cumbersome to wear, requiring practiced showmanship to don with grace.
This special presentation of works in the Art Institute’s permanent collection highlights six forms of status dress from Africa. Each wrapped, robed, or beaded example features a lavish use of materials that emphasize status through dazzling display.”
African Interweave: Textiles Diasporas
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester NH
Sept. 28, 2013 — Jan. 12, 2014
“Featuring more than 40 textiles, garments and other works of art, this exhibition offers the opportunity to experience the aesthetic power and rich cultural histories of textiles produced across the continent of Africa. Whether used for everyday functions, high fashion, costumes or sacred rituals, the textiles featured in this exhibition highlight the diverse influences that continue to shape these vibrant art forms, including the regional and global exchange of ideas, techniques and materials.
This exhibition is organized by the Harn Museum of Art.”
There is a catalogue for “African Interweave” published by the Harn Museum, Florida, that is worth tracking down, but as far as I know no catalogue for the other two. If anyone wants to send me photos any of these exhibits I’d be happy to post them.