Upcoming Exhibitions

Flora & Fiber

May 20 - August 26, 2017

This exhibition, curated from the Center’s permanent collection, will explore the use and depiction of flowers and foliage in fiber art. From their ability to visually inspire iconography to their use as raw material for hand-weaving and dyeing, plants have a unique relationship to the creation and adornment of textiles across the globe.

As society advanced toward the modern age, art and design in the Americas and Europe was overwhelmingly influenced by the export of goods, materials and aesthetics from Central, East and South Asia. Lands to the east of Europe served as a source of significant inspiration. Artistic use of floral motifs and materials continue weaving techniques and traditions still practiced by skilled artisans today.

Flora and Fiber presents the botanical sources, application and iconography in textiles from three continents, highlighting Asian textiles’ profound and enduring influence on the development of modern fashion and design.

 


Cloth as Community: Hmong Textiles in America

September 16 - December 16, 2017

Hmong flower cloth (or paj ntaub) is one of the world’s great textile traditions and an excellent example of cloth as community. Despite its deep roots in Hmong culture, this complex art was not widely known outside Asia until after the Vietnam War, when Hmong refugees arrived in the United States. The works illustrate the profound relevance of textiles as infrastructure in the Hmong culture, an art form that shifted as it adapted to fit new realities. The exhibition features 28 textiles—flower cloths and embroidered story clothes—by those in the Hmong community.

Organized and toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national part of Mid-America Arts Alliance, the exhibition was first curated in 1999 by Carl Magnuson, a cultural anthropologist, working with a Hmong refugee community. Curatorial updates have been done by Geraldine Craig, who has published more than a hundred essays on contemporary art and Hmong textiles, in venues such as the Hmong Studies Journal, The Journal of Modern Craft, Art in America, and Surface Design Journal.