Threaded Transformations across the 20th Century
MacKenzie Moon Ryan, PhD
- Accompanies a major exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College (January 18–May 15, 2020)
- Essential reading for those interested in African textiles, jewellery, clothing, history and cultural studies
- Includes unpublished artworks from across the African continent
Featuring African textiles, clothing, headwear and jewellery, this book celebrates African dress as products of global interactions, generational conflict and continuity, and expressions of gender. The book highlights the strength and resilience of long-standing practices that characterise African dress; the wide variety of cultural, religious and political motivations for adorning oneself; and the varying identities reflected in analysing African material culture of the last century and a half. Textile selections include those hand-woven and dyed alongside factory-woven and machine-printed cloth. Items of adornment include amber and silver jewellery from North Africa, beadwork-embellished clothing from South Africa and various headdresses from across the continent, to name a few examples. From formal European colonisation, to independence for African countries, to the liberalisation of African economies, this book will demonstrate how dress practices reveal personal and group identities, cultural traditions, religious associations, political affiliations and aspirations.
MacKenzie Moon Ryan is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Ryan specialises in the history of African art, with particular interest in textiles, fashion, trade, colonialism, cross-cultural exchange and museum studies. She serves on the editorial board for the scholarly journal, African Arts.