Drawing from the rich collection of Kent State University Museum, this exhibition showcases common features shared by regional costume across Europe. In its original context in villages, regional dress carefully marked social and cultural differences. Religious affiliation, gender, age, and marital status were all instantly recognizable at a glance by members of the community. A person’s outfit signaled which village or region they came from. Focusing on these signs of difference obscures the common vocabulary that rural residents across Europe used to shape their clothing.
We live in a world where fashion, celebrity and personality are inextricably intertwined and elevated to heights of global phenomena. A singular name — Cher, Madonna, Naomi or even Bernie — denotes an immediate and comprehensive image of personae, values and impact. The name Chanel has endured for over 100 years: What does that tell us about the House of Chanel and what does that reveal about us?
Textures synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. Long a fraught topic for African Americans and others in the diaspora, Black hair is here addressed by artists, barbers, and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today. Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired here with masterworks from artists including James Van Der Zee, Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mary Sibande and Zanele Muholi.