Pictured: Kente cloth, a woven cloth worn around the waist or upper torso, made by the Ewe people of Southeastern Ghana / Southwestern Togo, circa 1940.
Owned by Lisa Aronson, Associate Professor of Art History
I became interested in African textiles because I knew that I could go to Africa and study the textile traditions happening now - see art in use, and come to understand the meanings and aesthetics of textiles from the African perspective. When I was in graduate school my thesis advisor said - and it sounds sort of cliché now, but he was right - ‘African art is not an art for art’s sake, it’s an art for life’s sake.’ It’s very much connected to people’s lives, their belief systems, their rituals, their daily activities…. So in collecting these, I feel like I’m bringing that life into my household. That’s the reason I like to have them around.
Lisa Aronson, 2012