Dec 13, 2020 - Feb 13, 2022
Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia
Museum of International Folk Art
Dressing with Purpose examines three dress traditions today—Swedish folkdräkt, Norwegian bunad, and Sámi gákti—in light of more than two centuries of social and political change across Scandinavia.
Starting in the 19th century, many in Sweden worried about the ravages of industrialization, urbanization, and emigration on traditional ways of life. Norway was gripped in a struggle for national independence. Indigenous Sámi communities—artificially divided by national borders and long resisting colonial control—rose up in protests that sparked cultural renewal and demanded political recognition. Throughout, people have put on special clothing to communicate powerful messages of unity and opposition, to fight for self-determination, and to make purposeful connections with the past. The creative reworking of tradition continues today with dress revivals, reconstructions, and inventions.
Getting dressed is a creative act, an expression of the self within a web of social and historical connections. Getting dressed can also be an artistic performance meant to persuade others. In this exhibition, you will meet diverse individuals who make and wear folkdräkt, bunad, and gákti today. By dressing with purpose, they intentionally seek a sense of belonging, articulate personal values, and combine the best of the past with the present in order to fashion better futures.
Vivid in Japanese art and imagination are creatures that are at once ghastly and comical. Yokai generally refers to demons, ghosts, shapeshifters, and “strange” and supernatural beings. Specific creatures are commonly associated with classical literature, folklore, theatrical performances, festivals, art, and other forms of expressive culture. Yokai are also prevalent in contemporary Japanese popular culture; you find them in manga (comics), anime (animation), and character-based games such as Pokémon (“pocket monster”).
The exhibition Música Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico will open in the Hispanic Heritage Wing October 6, 2019. The exhibition will focus on the rich history of traditional Hispano music from the arrival of the Spanish through the present. Once in New Mexico, historic European traditions took on a new life and feel, blending with Native customs and reflecting the land, time, and place where these folkloric songs and traditions developed.
A believer in numerology, astrology, and faith healing, Agnes Pelton’s abstract compositions propelled her into an esoteric world epitomized by the Transcendental Painting Group (1938-1942), a short-lived group that promoted abstract, non-objective art. Although Pelton received some attention during her lifetime, she has been relatively unknown within the field of American Art. Approximately 40 – 45 works will comprise this exhibition shedding light on Pelton’s artistic contribution to American Modernism, while examining her practice against a broader, international framework of spiritual and esoteric abstraction.