People might think of fashion as an exclusively modern phenomenon. But in Kenya that is far from the case.
“Arts of Kenya: Beauty in Traditional Forms,” a fresh exhibition at the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington, showcases a range of colorful jewelry, furniture and personal items collected from national reserves across our country. Over 200 objects will be featured in the exhibit, which opens on March 4 and runs through May 8.
Los Angeles collector and art dealer Ernie Wolfe III collected and documented the findings between 1973 and 1979 and the exhibit includes objects from dozens of ethnic groups, focusing primarily on the arts of pastoral peoples such as the Turkana, Maasai, Pokot and Boran. Many of the objects are no longer being made or used among these peoples, making Wolfe’s findings particularly significant.
“For many of these peoples…personal adornment has traditionally been a way not only to show individual and ethnic style but also to indicate one’s position in society,” says a press statement released by the museum. “In this exhibition, visitors will be able to compare a variety of similar, sometimes very different objects created for everyday use as well as special occasions.”
Indiana University curators are proud to host this very exclusive exhibition, which will also be available in a searchable online catalog following the opening reception on March 4. The reception is free and open to the public and will also feature a performance by Voice Tatu, a trio of Kenyan musicians currently studying at the university’s school of music.