Textiles and Dress from the Collection
December 20, 2009 - August 7, 2011
Material World presented a tantalizing glimpse into the Museum of International Folk Art’s largest collection of textiles and costumes stored in 57 closets and numerous trunks and drawers. The 138 rarely-seen items in this exhibition highlighted the remarkable breadth and depth of 20,000 objects ranging from everyday household articles to elaborately detailed ceremonial wear in the Museum’s textile collection.
The exhibition was accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue authored by exhibition curator Bobbie Sumberg. The catalog divides the textile and costume collection into two categories, textiles and dress, and into several subcategories: textiles for the bed; for the dwelling; for the church, temple, or ceremony; and, decorative pieces such as samplers. Dress is divided into headwear, outerwear, footwear, accessories, ceremonial, and complete ensembles.
Former Curator Bobbie Sumberg said, "Making and embellishing textiles can be a powerful tool of socialization and a reflection of cultural values. By looking at the production and use of textiles, numerous aspects of history and culture become illuminated. For example, gender roles within a family and within a society or culture are usually played out when cloth is made and worn.
The exhibition was in the Cotsen Gallery of the Neutrogena Wing from December 20, 2009 through August 7, 2011.View Online Exhibition Site View Press Release on Media Center