TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair
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. Exploring topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display, TEXTURES is a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture. The exhibition is organized by the KSU Museum with co-curators, Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history at KSU and Tameka Ellington, associate professor at the School of Fashion at KSU.
TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair is made possible with the generous sponsorship of:
Additional support from National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Humanities Council, the Ohio Arts Council, Callahan Foundation, KSU Global Understanding Research Initiative, the KSU Provost’s Office, KSU Dean’s Office of the College of the Arts, Leslie Royce Resnik, the KSU School of Fashion, KSU Pan-African Studies, KSU Research and Sponsored Programs, Dr. Geneva Damron, Colorist and Brand Ambassador Greg Gilmore, and Kent Area (OH) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication produced and distributed by Hirmer Verlag. To purchase the catalogue through the KSU Museum Store please order here.
Sonya Clark, Black Hair Flag, 2010, Photo courtesy the artist
James Van Der Zee, Harlem, ca. 1940. Photo courtesy Tyler Fine Art, Melvin Homes Collection of African Art
Banner image: Tawny Chatmon, Heir/Present of God, 2017. Photo Courtesy the artist