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Saturday, August 15, 2015


“African Textiles and Adornment:

Selections from the Marcel and Zaira Mis Collection”



Sharon Takeda & Kaye Spilker, Curators

Department of Costume & Textiles, LACMA

Brilliant color, bold patterns, and intriguing symbols characterize the dress of many societies throughout the African continent. Not only are garments visually compelling, but they are also laden with emblems of power that signify the wealth, status, prestige, or even divinity of the bearer. The body’s seat of intelligence, spirit, and identity is also established by crowning the head with spectacular structures fashioned out of feathers or beads that soar above or surround the head, increasing or expanding a subject’s stature.  Fashioned in a variety of techniques and enhanced with a broad range of natural materials, these extraordinary garments and headpieces sculpt the body into iconic form and serve as aesthetic surrogates for power and esteem.  This talk by LACMA curators Sharon Takeda and Kaye Spliker will be a virtual gallery tour of the more than 35 dynamic textiles and commanding headdresses in the exhibition, which present the profound visual impact of African textiles.



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