Explore how the Dutch company Vlisco became one of the most influential textile brands in West and Central African fashion and a design inspiration around the world. Known for its bold and colorful patterns, Vlisco creates fabrics that marry tradition with luxury. This exhibition highlights the company's classic and new designs, follows the creation of a textile, and showcases a selection of contemporary fashions by African and European makers as well as Vlisco's in-house design team.
This exhibition offers an in-depth look at three photographers who create powerful pictures of African cities: Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Bamako, and Tombouctou. From Akinbode Akinbiyi's observation of urban centers and Seydou Camara's examination of Islamic manuscripts to Ananias Léki Dago's pictures of offbeat locales, the images in this exhibition offer unique perspectives on contemporary African experience.
This exhibit focuses on the time-honored techniques used to create patterns in Central and West African textiles. Among the examples on view are complex strip-woven kente cloths made by the Asante and Ewe of Ghana, an impressive resist-dyed display textile (or ndop) from Cameroon, and raffia skirts that the Kuba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo create using piecing, appliqué, and embroidery.
This exhibition, which draws from the Penn Museum's esteemed African collections, showcases works created in West and Central Africa from the 1500's to the early 1900's. It includes carved ivories and bronzes from the kingdom of Benin, Akan gold weights, Kongo power figures, Kuba textiles and vessels, Kota reliquary figures, and more.
This exhibition sheds light on Francis Kéré's inventive approach to building. Born in Burkina Faso and based in Berlin, Kéré integrates traditional knowledge and craft skills into innovative and sustainable buildings worldwide. In many of his projects, he maximizes local materials and community participation to reduce costs and ecological impact. This exhibition offers a look at some of his award-winning designs within an colorful interactive environment.
Make your own bag inspired by the exhibition "Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage." Mix and match patterns, including real Vlisco fabrics, as you try out a sewing machine and learn hand-sewing skills.
Kids will use a variety of materials to create a 3D sculpture inspired by the exhibition "The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community. " Afterwards, they'll turn their sculptures into sound speakers by hooking them up to smartphones and other devices.
Kids will use sunlight to create their own photos without employing a camera. They'll draw inspiration from the "Three Photographers/Six Cities" and "Creative Africa" exhibitions as they experiment with light sensitive materials.