“Majestic African Textiles features more than 60 pieces showcasing the woven arts from the diverse cultures of Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, among other regions .
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 6, 2013— The Indianapolis Museum of Art today announced it will present Majestic African Textiles, an exhibition featuring a spectacular array of prestige garments,
performance and ritual cloths and superbly beaded and embellished objects. The works are drawn from the IMA’s extensive collection of textiles—one of the most distinguished in the country. The exhibition will be on view from May 3, 2013, to March, 2, 2014.
“The IMA has been collecting African textiles since 1918. Majestic African Textiles will highlight a significant and diverse group of richly patterned and elaborately decorated north and subSaharan African textiles,” said Niloo Paydar, curator of textile and fashion arts. “These textiles are considered significant symbols of status, power and wealth.” “The IMA’s long history of collecting African works of art has resulted in one of the finest and most
comprehensive collections in the United States,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “We are excited to present these stunning textiles that will
illuminate the many cultures of Africa through the weavers’ art.”
Featuring more than 60 pieces, Majestic African Textiles will celebrate the prestige and significance of these prized cloths in their respective cultures. This exhibition offers a superb
presentation of the woven arts of the diverse African textile producing cultures of Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Ivory
Coast, Ethiopia and South Africa. Representing many African ethnic groups and organized geographically, the exhibition will
include the following highlights:
• An elaborately tailored and embroidered Nigerian man’s drawstring trousers with wide waist
bands that serve as a prestige garment among the Hausa, Nupe and other northern Nigerian
• An exquisitely beaded royal Nigerian ceremonial tunic made of panels of imported velvet and wool. The beaded patterns are executed in a variety of designs including medals, crowns, faux epaulettes, flowers and faces of Yoruba royal ancestors.
• Several examples of the colorful strip-woven cloths of the Asante and Ewe peoples of Ghana, popularly known as kente.
• A recently acquired, rare warrior’s tunic from Ghana laden with a number of amulets that contained protective powers. Hunters, warriors and soldiers who often had dangerous professions wore garments that were either painted with protective verses or adorned with objects that were believed to have magical powers.
Organized by the IMA, Majestic African Textiles will be on view in the museum’s Gerald and Dorit Paul Galleries. “