'From Kente to Kuba' opens Dec. 7 at quilt museum

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‘From Kente to Kuba’ opens Dec. 7 at quilt museum

International Quilt Study Center and Museum
File photo
The International Quilt Study Center and Museum is located at 33rd and Holdrege streets.

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum will celebrate the opening of a new exhibition, “From Kente to Kuba: Stitched Textiles from West and Central Africa,” from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

“From Kente to Kuba: Stitched Textiles from West and Central Africa” will showcase recently acquired textiles and quilts from Ghana, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While not all works on view will be quilts, each will showcase related stitching techniques such as piecing and appliqué.

This Kente Cloth made by the Ashanti people circa 1960-1980 will appear in "From Kente to Kuba" at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

“The exhibition puts quiltmaking into a larger global context,” said Marin Hanson, curator of international collections. “It shows the relationship between what we are most familiar with, in terms of American quilts and quiltmaking, and links them with the larger world of textile creation. It also explains how they are significant textiles in their own right, within their own countries and in a cross-cultural context.”

The exhibition marks the first time the museum has shown a significant collection of works made on the African continent.

In conjunction with two forthcoming exhibitions — “Stitching the Transatlantic: Liberian Quilts from the John Singler Collection,” opening Jan. 18, and “Collecting and Recollecting: Contemporary Quilts in Western India,” opening Feb. 22 — the museum will explore themes of migration and the African diaspora.

“Quilts, like migration, can facilitate human interaction – in other words, they can help people learn from and connect with each other,” Hanson said. “Migration is about movement and people mixing together. It isn’t always wonderful. Forced migration is one of the worst legacies of the human experience. But sometimes wonderful things happen when people come together. It’s important to learn about the good and the bad. Quilts can assist with absorbing those varied histories.”

“From Kente to Kuba” will be on display through May 12. Visit the quilt museum website for more information about these and other programs at the museum.

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