Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair

Friday, September 10, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, August 14, 2022 (All day)
Rockwell Hall
Broadbent Gallery

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 Fashion School at KSU.

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.

Clark Black Hair Flag

Sonya Clark, Black Hair Flag, 2010, Photo courtesy the artist

Van Der Zee Harlem

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

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