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African Textiles in Dallas

Add to, Take Away: Artistry and Innovation in African Textiles is showing at Dallas Museum of Art until 6 December 2015.

Tunic with appliquéd designs

Kom tunic with appliqué designs, probably 1920s, Cameroon, Cotton and wool, 125 x 238 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

The exhibition title takes its name from the basic techniques that African textile artists use to decorate cloth. ‘Adding to’ in the form of embroidery and appliqué and the ‘taking away’ of threads using the Pelete technique, developed in Nigeria to create intricate patterns.

The importance of encoded visual languages within textiles across Mali, Republic of Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ethiopia are the subject of the installation. The exhibits are made up primarily of 20th century items from the DMA’s acclaimed collection of African art.

Overskirt with wavy edge

Kuba overskirt with wavy edge (ntshakakot), early 20th century, Democratic Republic of the Congo, palm leaf fibre (raffia), cotton, wool, and vegetal fibre, 77 x 217 x 6 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

Appliqué banner

Fon appliqué banner, 1900-1930, Republic of Benin, cotton (including imported fabric), 170 x 95 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

Egungun costume

Yoruba Egungun costume, c. 1975, Republic of Benin, cloth, appliqué, cowrie shells, sequins, wood, glass beads, and metal, 173 x 69 x 42 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Pace Primitive Gallery, New York

Man's prestige robe (riga or agbada)

Yoruba, Hausa, or Nupe man’s prestige robe (riga or agbada), 1900-1950, Nigeria, wild silk and cotton, 137 x 264 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

Man's tunic

Yoruba man’s tunic, 20th century, Nigeria, glass beads and cotton, 219 x 74 x 2 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. S. Roger Horchow

Robe for a dignitary (boubou lomasa)

Soninke robe for a dignitary (boubou lomasa), late 19th-early 20th century, Mali, cotton and silk; plain weave and embroidery, 139 x 191 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

Woman's embroidered shawl

Woman’s embroidered shawl, probably 1930s, Nigeria or Cameroon, cotton, 170 x 118 cm, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund

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