ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
December 20, 2020 to October 24, 2021 | Level 3
Silk cloth is associated with wealth and status throughout the world but few may realize this rare, natural fiber is indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa. Silk was traded between African peoples across the continent and was also imported from Europe, India, China, and the Middle East. This installation of cloths drawn from the DMA collection explores the production of silk and silk textiles in Ghana, Nigeria, and Madagascar.
SILK IN AFRICA
SANYAN SILK (or wild silk) is produced by Anaphe and Epanaphe silk moths. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, these moths dine on tamarind trees.
MULBERRY SILK is produced by Bombyx mori silk moths and is named for the type of tree that sustains the moths.
Discover how the works of art in the DMA’s Arts of Africa collection reveal the extraordinary diversity of sub-Saharan cultures and visual traditions.
Get inspired by the designs and patterns in artworks featured in Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa, then create a motif textile that expresses who you are.
Enjoy three short films about the life cycle of silkworms and how silk is harvested and converted into cloth.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Take a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa with Dr. Roslyn A. Walker, Senior Curator, Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific/The Margaret McDermott Curator of African Art; Fran Baas, Interim Chief Conservator, and Mary Nicolett, Senior Preparator. Explore the production of silk and silk textiles in Ghana, Nigeria, and Madagascar while reflecting on unique textile conservation and display techniques.
Focused installations allow us to study works from our vast and renowned collection of African art from a variety of interesting angles. We hope ‘Moth to Cloth’ will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about the cultural significance of these treasured garments and to make discoveries about silk’s long history in Africa.
– Dr. Agustín Arteaga, Eugene McDermott Director, Dallas Museum of Art