Treasured Cloth: Women’s Art of Polynesia—An exhibit exploring the art, history, and culture of Polynesian textiles created by Samoan and Tongan women featuring tapa cloth and other woven art work from the FSU Museum of Fine Arts and The Textile and Apparel Historic Costume Collection in the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, opening April 4th, 2019.
The Polynesian artistic tradition of barkcloth has taken place for thousands of years among cultures across the South Pacific. Treasured Cloth is the first exhibition of Polynesian textiles housed in FSU’s collections and a featured highlight are two large-scale barkcloths from Samoa and Tonga. Barkcloth holds a culturally significant place in Samoan and Tongan society, where women express creative and artistic skill in processing and decorating these art forms by hand. These textiles symbolize the artistic expression and daily life of the women who spend ample amounts of time and labor in the creation of tapa cloths, grass skirts, and fine mats. Given at socially important events such as weddings, births, and deaths, each elaborately decorated barkcloth and textile is a statement on the environment, culture, community, gender roles and art of Polynesia.
Taught by Dr. Kristin L. Dowell, Associate Professor of Art History, the Museum Object course is the culmination of the Museum Studies minor for undergraduates at Florida State University. This course examines the history, philosophy, practice and implications of acquiring, researching and displaying objects in art museums and gallery spaces in the modern era. Additionally, the course provides students with hands-on experience in designing and mounting a show in a gallery setting.
Museums employ more than 400,000 people in the United States. Your gift gives these students an experience which can prepare them for a rewarding career in this industry, as well as marketing, budgeting, planning, and fundraising skills applicable to any future position.