By Roy W. Hamilton et al.
“Anyone pondering the effects of food and farming on culture will find this book invaluable.”
The term Asia is a problematic and highly artificial construct as hardly anything—language, religion, politics, or even geography—unites this huge area. Within the context of this study, however—which focuses on parts of South, Southeast, and East Asia (home to the vast majority of the population)—there exists a unifying factor of paramount significance, and that is rice. Not only is rice the staple food in these regions, it is the focal point of a pervasive set of interrelated beliefs and practices. For those who consume it, this foodstuff is considered divinely given and is felt to sustain them in a special way, one that may be understood as constitutional and even spiritual. This volume explores beliefs and practices relating to rice as they are made manifest in the unique arts and material cultures of the various peoples considered.
Incorporating essays by twenty-seven authors representing a wide variety of cultures and writing from diverse perspectives, the book is astounding in its multivocality. The thirty-five lavishly illustrated essays describe rice-related rituals and beliefs in parts of Thailand, Nepal, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, China, and Korea. Throughout, the juxtaposition of magnificent photographs of works of art—paintings, prints, ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, and sculpture—with objects of a more humble nature—agricultural implements, rice-straw ornaments, cooking utensils, baskets, puppets, votive plaques, and so forth—serves to indicate the striking pervasiveness of rice in all aspects and all walks of life. Wedding ceremonies, parades, festivals, celebrations of birth, rites held to honor the rice goddess, and those performed to insure success at every step in the rice-growing cycle are vividly described and illustrated with striking field photographs. The whole gives the reader the rare opportunity to compare the similarities and the differences with which a rich array of Asian cultures view the food that nourishes them.
Roy W. Hamilton is Curator of Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. His previous publications include From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines (1998) and Gift of the Cotton Maiden: Textiles of Flores and the Solor Islands (1994).
Hamilton, Roy: The Art of Rice: Spirit and Sustenance in Asia
Approx. 560 pages
ISBN 0-930741-98-6, paper, $60.00, now 50% off: $30.00
Drawing upon diverse sources, including Daniel P. Biebuyck’s seminal fieldwork of the 1950s, Elisabeth Cameron investigates the culture and the art of the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Lega, art is only created for and used by the Bwami Society. Bwami is a complex organization consisting of multiple levels, and it forms an essential component of the political, social, and religious structure of the Lega. Within Bwami, artworks are used in conjunction with proverbs, anecdotes, and performances to form complex layered metaphors and to serve as mnemonic devices. As initiates move up through the ranks of the Bwami Society, they are exposed to a variety of different artworks that assist them in recalling a vast corpus of complex aphorisms. The many beautiful examples of Lega artworks illustrated in this volume are drawn primarily from the Jay T. Last collection and include masks, animals, human forms, miniature tools, and spoons.
Cameron, Elizabeth L.: The Art of the Lega. 2001
9 x 12 inches, 236 pages
396 color and 14 b/w illustrations, 1 map, 1 chart
ISBN 0-930741-87-0, cloth, $65
ISBN 0-930741-88-9, paper, $40
Photography by Larry Yust
Text by Patrick A. Polk
“Readers will find something new each time they unfold the panels.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Graffiti is a forceful way of inscribing presence or “being” in the world as well as a means of creating affective links to the potency of natural wonders, religious shrines, and ancient ruins as well as the contemporary cityscape. The photographic elevations presented in this volume represent a graffiti-punctuated pilgrim’s progress built around the aesthetics of defacement. Graffiti- and mural-covered walls, buildings, automobiles, and railcars are the artful wonders, the vibrant shrines, and the dynamic ruins that structured Larry Yust’s pilgrimage to some of the most famed metropolitan centers of the world. He has brought back panoramic souvenirs; vistas that let us be there in a way that is perhaps better than being there. This book celebrates the artistry and audacity of the taggers and uncommissioned muralists who decorate and deface contemporary cities.
Photographer Larry Yust lives in Los Angeles. Patrick A. Polk is curator of Latin American and Caribbean popular arts at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
By Patrick A. Polk et al.
Material expressions of spiritual belief are integral components of the Los Angeles landscape. Cathedrals, temples, churches, and shrines dot the city, but they are not the only sites where notions of the divine, or at least the supernatural, are made visible. Reflecting the broad ethnic and cultural reconfiguration of Southern California in recent years, botánicas have emerged as one of the most frequent purveyors of sacramental items, and their role in supporting and shaping the ways numerous residents, Latino or otherwise, envision and interact with the sacred in everyday life is increasingly obvious.
Best described as an ever-evolving combination of spiritual center, religious supply house, and alternate healthcare facility, the botánica is generally associated with folk Catholicism and other Latin American religious traditions. The hundreds of botánicas in Southern California are sites of spirit-infused artistry, ceremonial activity, and community building, especially among Latinos. This book explores these fascinating venues and their role in transmitting, transforming, and critiquing traditional faiths.
Patrick Arthur Polk is visiting assistant professor of world arts and cultures at UCLA. Other contributors include Donald J. Cosentino, Ysamur Flores-Peña, Miki Garcia, Claudia J. Hernandez, Michael Owen Jones, and Yves Marton.
Polk, Patrick et al.: Botánica Los Angeles, Latino Popular Religous Art in the City of Angels
140 pages, 8 x 10 inches
ISBN 0-9748729-0-3, paper, $30.00
Edited by Timothy Corrigan Correll and Patrick Arthur Polk with essays by R. Mark Livengood and Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos
On a daily basis remnants, scraps, rubbish, and junk are filtered through both formal and informal salvage operations in urban centers throughout the world. The essays included in this volume—”Muffler Men, Muñecos and Other Welded Wonders: Occupational Sculpture from Automotive Debris,” “Streetwise: The Mafundi of Dar es Salaam,” and “Castoff/Outcast: Living on the Street”—explore the process of recycling within three distinct environments. Each of the studies is linked by an examination of how mass-produced materials are reenvisioned and reused in ways that are dramatically different from their originally intended purposes. Timothy Correll and Patrick Polk address the assembly of alluring, eye-catching, and often humorous advertisements made by automotive repairmen in Southern California; R. Mark Livengood investigates the fashioning of implements by craftsmen (mafundi) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Cecilia Loschiavo Dos Santos documents the construction of impromptu shelters by street people living in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and São Paulo. What emerges is a remarkable juxtaposition of diverse material behaviors informing the “lived experiences” of residents of several cities across the globe.
8.5 x 11 inches, 148 pages
184 color and 11 b/w illustrations
ISBN 0-930741-75-7, paper, $29
Edited by Marla C. Berns, Richard Fardon, and Sidney Littlefield Kasfir
Winner, 2014 Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award
Arts Council of the African Studies Association“This book is a landmark in the history of African visual and material culture.”
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Cambridge Journals
From the Niger-Benue confluence in the center of Nigeria, moving eastward to the border with Cameroon, the Benue River Valley stretches over 650 miles. Central Nigeria Unmasked,the most in-depth study to date, illuminates the remarkable creativity and artistic legacy of the many peoples occupying this vast region, the source of some of the most abstract, dramatic, and inventive sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa.
During the nineteenth century, a series of dramatic and disruptive events—including a Fulani-led jihad; Chamba slave raiding; and increasing European exploration and missionary efforts—contributed to widespread dispersals and relocations of many Benue peoples. Whole villages, for example, were forced to flee from north of the river to establish new communities to the south. The essays in Central Nigeria Unmasked highlight the ways that artworks bear witness to these dynamic histories of exchange and interaction among local groups.
Thirty years in the making, this volume owes much to the pioneering work of the late art historian Arnold Rubin (1937–1988). Rubin carried out fieldwork throughout the Benue Valley as a doctoral student from 1964 to 1966 and again in the 1980s, focusing particularly on the people known as the Jukun, whose history has usually been seen to hold a key to that of the region as a whole. His perceptive writing and photographs inform much of the book.
Edited by Marla C. Berns, Richard Fardon, Sidney Kasfir: Central Nigeria Unmasked – Arts of the Benue River Valley
608 pages, 9 x 12 inches
ISBN 0-97809778344-5-7, paperback, $75.00
ISBN 0-97809778344-6-4, hardcover, $100.00
Lenore Hoag Mulryan with essays by Delia A. Cosentino, Elizabeth Snoddy Cuéllar and Luis Fernando Rodríguez Lazcano, and Marta Turok
A bonanza of scholarship for tree-of-life fans.”
Los Angeles Times, May 2003
Tucked among their branches, the elaborate and colorful Mexican clay constructions known as Trees of Life may contain a range of possible scenes: pre-Hispanic cosmologies, genealogies, and rituals; biblical stories; historical vignettes; or secular events. Often fitted with candles or incense burners, they may soar to a height of twenty feet or be small enough to fit in a child’s hand. Ever increasing in popularity, by the early 1970s, the remarkable and versatile Tree of Life had become a quintessential symbol of Mexico.
In Ceramic Trees of Life: Popular Art from Mexico, Lenore Hoag Mulryan and her co-authors explore the origins of this unique Mexican art form and examine its development and contemporary manifestations. Following Mulryan’s introduction, Delia Cosentino examines pre-Hispanic tree symbolism and discusses the syncretic approach of the Spanish clergy, which actively sought to emphasize parallels between local beliefs and Catholicism. Following this examination, three essays consider the work of prominent potting families from the three major Tree of Life producing communities: Elizabeth Snoddy Cuéllar and Luis Fernando Rodríguez Lazcano examine the work of the Flores and Castillo families of Izúcar de Maramoros making the case for the origin of the Tree of Life in this community; Mulryan pays homage to the remarkable works in clay by Herón Martínez of Acatlán de Osorio and discusses in depth the trajectory of this artist’s career; and Marta Turok considers the potters of Metepec, focusing on the Soteno family, in the context of the history of Mexican popular arts.
Lavishly illustrated with magnificent examples of Trees of Life drawn from the Gerald Daniel Collection of Mexican Folk Art at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, as well as with many stunning field shots, this volume traces the Tree of Life from its origins to its role as a vibrant symbol of a modern nation. In so doing, it also touches upon the fate of the clay artist in present-day Mexico and the impact of commodification on the popular arts, revealing the simultaneous pull of tradition and push of modernity that have developed this popular art form in the face of the changing social, economic, and political landscape of mid- to late-twentieth-century Mexico.
Lenore Hoag Mulryan has actively conducted research on Mexican ceramic art for a period of nearly twenty-five years. Her two previous Fowler publications, Mexican Figural Ceramists and Their Works (1982) and Nagual in the Garden: Fantastic Animals in Mexican Ceramics (1996) are also based upon that research.
8 x 10 inches, 168 pages
97 color and 20 b/w illustrations, 2003
ISBN 0-930741-96-X, paper, $35
Edited by David Kunzle with contributions by Maurice Zeitlin, Shifra Goldman, Fabian Wagmister, and Christine Petra Sellin
Che Guevara left his imprint on history and on the hearts and minds of artists and writers throughout the world. In this work, art historian David Kunzle traces the man and myth globally in posters and artwork, examining iconization and commercialization, fantasy and fact. Some reproductions of rare photographs and artwork appear here for the first time. Contributing author Maurice Zeitlin tells of a midnight meeting with Che in Cuba; Shifra Goldman discusses the defacing and restoration of a mural of Che in Los Angeles during the early 1980s; Fabian Wagmister surveys the international poetic oeuvre inspired by Che; and Christine Petra Sellin takes a critical look at Hollywood’s Che!
The catalog includes art depicting Che and his message from numerous Latin American countries, as well as Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Vietnam, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
9 x 12 inches, 124 pages
232 color illustrations
ISBN 0-930741-59-5, cloth, $50
By Donald J. Cosentino
Born in Port-au-Prince in 1954, Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié spent his late childhood years in Puerto Rico, where his family had fled to avoid the oppressive Duvalier regime. Following studies in Canada and at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he moved to Miami where he continues to live and work. Divine Revolution presents sequined banners, canvases with ornate frames, and a dramatic altar, all demonstrating the profound influence on Duval-Carrié of Vodou and Haiti’s complex cultural and political history. These works range in subject matter from celebrations and chronicles of the Haitian Revolution to examinations of the current plight of Haiti and its people.
Duval-Carrié’s art reveals a side of Haitian experience that is not evident on the nightly news. The surreal starlit journeys of the Vodou deities and spirits who populate his paintings, juxtaposed with his carnivalesque portrayals of oppressive colonial and contemporary regimes, offer insight into the paradoxes of Haitian existence and the ambivalent nature of power itself, as well as a vision of the integrity of Haiti’s ritual and spiritual practices.
Donald J. Cosentino is professor of world arts and cultures at UCLA.
68 pages, 8 x 10 inches
ISBN 0-9748729-1-1, paper, $20.00 (50% off at Fowler Museum store: $10.00)
By Sean Anderson
Fire and light have long symbolized the relationship of human beings to the universe and its creators. In South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas, the lamp, as a bearer of light, came to be perceived as a vehicle through which the divine could be accessed. The design, construction, and use of the lamp in these regions have been synonymous with the faith of the devotee since ancient times. Today the lamp continues to play a pivotal role in Hindu and Buddhist religious contexts, allowing the faithful to concentrate on the image or nature of the deity.
The 76 remarkable metal lamps and incense burners illustrated in Flames of Devotion form the heart of a collection assembled by the preeminent scholar of Indian and Himalayan art Pratapaditya Pal and his wife, Chitralekha. They are noteworthy for their ingenious design and diverse crafting, as well as their iconographic richness. They represent fourteen states in India, a majority coming from Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, the tribal areas in central Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In addition, stunning examples of lamps from Nepal and Tibet showcase the skill with which precious metals were employed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and a small selection of early incense burners and lamps from Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam show the role these objects played in the ancient imagination.
In an engaging and highly informative text, architect and art historian Sean Anderson investigates why lamps have endured and remain omnipresent in Hindu and Buddhist practice. While examining the historical importance of the lamp, Anderson emphasizes that as altar and tool, icon and fine sculpture, it is an evocative reminder of an undying devotion forged with the most common yet enigmatic of materials: metal and fire. He considers as well the liminal space the lamp occupies between the secular and the sacred in societies where it is often used to mark every event of significance from birth to death.
8 x 10 inches, 112 pages
91 color illustrations
ISBN 0-9748729-3-8, paper, $30
$12.50 — 50% off original price
“Almost every page of the book delivers verbal, visual and moral shocks, sharp charges of a spiritual vitality generated by aggressive resistance to annihilation.”
—Holland Cotter, The New York Times, November 20, 2012
Donald J. Cosentino, Editor
With essays by Donald J. Cosentino, Edwidge Danticat, Leah Gordon, Claudine Michel and Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Patrick A. Polk, Jean Claude Saintilus, Katherine Smith, and Stephen C. Wehmeyer
Focusing on artistic evocations of the irrepressible Gedes—an increasingly dominant family of trickster deities—In Extremisexamines the striking disjunction between social collapse and artistic florescence in twenty-first century Haiti. It brings together the work of 34 artists, most of them living in Port-au-Prince, where they produce remarkable and controversial bodies of work in a variety of media while confronting on a daily basis the realities of Haiti’s frustratingly slow recovery from the Earthquake of 2010. Some of these artists have achieved acclaim on the international stage, but many receive new attention or reexamination here.
Donald J. Cosentino is professor emeritus of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Other contributors include Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Edwidge Danticat, Leah Gordon, Claudine Michel, Patrick A. Polk, Jean Claude Saintilus, Katherine Smith, and Stephen C. Wehmeyer.
196 pages, 182 illustrations, 166 in color
Notes, bibliog., index
9 x 11 in
By Sharon Sadako Takeda and Luke Roberts
A lasting contribution to the study of Japanese textiles and to the cultural history of the Inland Sea region, this volume presents a historical ethnography of the fishing villages that produced the sashiko no donza, or fisherman’s coat. It provides as well an in-depth analysis of regional textile production, the sashiko tradition in the village of Hokudan, and the iconography of the eloquently stitched designs that appear on the coats. The two scholarly essays are accompanied by a wealth of four-color illustrations of rare coats drawn from the collections of the Hokudan Town Historical and Ethnographic Museum, the Awaji Town Community Center, and the Iwaya Shrine.
9 x 12 inches, 80 pages
72 color and 9 b/w illustrations, 1 chart, 1 diagram, 3 maps
ISBN 0-930741-85-4, cloth, $50
ISBN 0-930741-86-28, paper, $30
Chicano activist, poet, artist, intellectual, professor, and musician, José Montoya (1932-2013) was a veritable Renaissance man. Montoya often found inspiration in the verdant fields of the San Joaquin Valley where his family arrived from their home in New Mexico in the 1940s looking for work. The visual artist and poet humanized the farmworker and understood the backbreaking work of field labor from firsthand experience. A Chicano civil rights activist, he marched alongside Cesar Chavez and advanced the cause of the United Farm Workers movement to bring justice and dignity to agricultural laborers.
José Montoya’s Abundant Harvest honors the artist’s prolific work as well as his subject matter in this energetic survey that includes eighty-one of his drawings.
112 pp., 81 color illus., 8 x 10 in.
ISBN 9780990762621, paper, $20
Edited by Zena Pearlstone with essays by Barbara A. Babcock, Marsha C. Bol, Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Alph Secakuku, Victoria Spencer, Peter M. Whiteley, and Barton Wright
This volume chronicles the commodification of the Hopi Katsinam (plural of Katsina) over the last 150 years. Once known only to the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest, these carvings have been transformed into international symbols and are now found decorating designer scarves, T-shirts, coasters, and a host of other products. In the course of this heavily illustrated study, the authors confront the consequences of inter- and intracultural perception, definitions of sacred and secular, colonialist thought and postcolonial retort. Also included are short statements by thirteen contemporary artists actively carving Katsinam or representing them in their work.
8.5 x 11 inches, 200 pages
316 color and 14 b/w illustrations
ISBN 0-930741-82-X, cloth, $60
ISBN 0-930741-83-8, paper, $35
$17.50 — 50% off original price for paperback
By Burglind Jungmann
Korea has an enduring history as a world-renowned center of ceramic production. While the development of other Korean art forms—whether calligraphy, painting, architecture, or sculpture—is strongly linked with that of neighboring China, Korean ceramics stand out as highly individual and largely independent of such intercultural exchanges. Perhaps their most remarkable quality is an inherent spontaneity; they are often uneven in their shapes and playful in their designs. Imperfection—a characteristic that strongly distinguishes Korean ceramics from Chinese—is not only tolerated but accepted and respected as naturally given and as enhancing the beauty and individuality of a piece.
The five celebrated ceramic artists whom noted art historian Burglind Jungmann has selected to form the focus of this study—Kim Yikyung, Yoon Kwang-cho, Lee Kang Hyo, Lee Young-Jae, and Lee In Chin—all have established and well-deserved reputations in Korea, and some of them have strong international ties as well. Kim Yikyung, for example, was educated at Alfred University in New York State; Lee Young-Jae pursued studies in Germany and has established her ceramic practice there; and Lee In Chin, although born in Seoul, was raised in California and attended college there before continuing his studies in Korea and Japan. These particular artists have been chosen in part because their works acknowledge and engage with Korean ceramic tradition while remaining innovative, contemporary pieces of art. They may be regarded as conducting simultaneous dialogues with the contemporary art scene and with ceramic practices of centuries long past—complex interchanges that differ fundamentally from each artist to the other.
8 x 10 inches, 56 pages
64 color illustrations, notes, $20.00
Edited by David Yeroushalmi
With essays by Kathleen Abraham, Ariella Amar, Orit Engelberg-Baram and Hagai Segev,, David Menashri, Orly Rahimiyan, Houman Sarshar, Esther Shkalim, and David Yeroushalmi
Light and Shadows highlights the 2,700-year history of Jews in Iran. It reveals centuries of oppression, fascinating cultural borrowings, and great artistic achievements. The story is told through rare archaeological artifacts, illuminated manuscripts, beautiful ritual objects and amulets, ceremonial garments, musical instruments, photographs, and more.
It examines as well the large-scale exodus of the Jewish community following the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Today, at least 25,000 practicing Jews remain in Iran, unwilling to give up their ancestral home and the distinctive way of life they have led there.
Light and Shadows is a co-publication between the Fowler Museum at UCLA and Beit Hatfutsot—The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.
David Yeroushalmi is professor of Middle Eastern and African History and a senior fellow at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University. Other contributors include Kathleen Abraham, Ariella Amar, Orit Engelberg-Baram, David Menashri, Orly Rahimiyan, Houman Sarshar, Hagai Segev, and Esther Shkalim.
200 pages, 119 illustrations, 104 in color
8.625 x 10.625 in
Hardback, ISBN: 978-0-9847550-2-8
By Manuel Jordán
In Makishi: Mask Characters of Zambia, Manuel Jordán reveals the beauty and complexity of the remarkable masquerade traditions of the Chokwe, Mbunda, Lunda, Lwena/Luvale, and Luchazi peoples who live in the “Three Corners” region of northwestern Zambia, northeastern Angola, and southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The distinct yet overlapping mask types and styles used by these groups reflect their continual interaction and demonstrate the constant reformulation of visual and performance genres. Relations among peoples of the “Three Corners” are further complicated by recent refugee flows, and the masquerades that Jordán considers and vividly illustrates in his field photographs reflect histories of compromise and creative tension, as well as contemporary struggles for survival.
While exquisite masks drawn from the Fowler Museum’s collections demonstrate long use, Jordán shows how new characters can be created within earlier categories, so that basic dramatic plots are preserved while reference is made to new technologies, foreign encounters, and the dynamics of social interaction in a rapidly changing world. In many ways, as the author astutely argues, the masks are a performative mechanism used to explain, cope with, and, often enough, celebrate life’s most difficult transitions and transformations. Makishi vibrantly documents the ability of theater to perpetuate tradition while providing an adaptive leading edge.
Manuel Jordán is the Phyllis Wattis Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University.
8 x 10 inches, 84 pages
90 color illustrations
ISBN 0-9748729-3-8, paper, $25
By Henry John Drewal
With contributions by Marilyn Houlberg, Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Amy L. Noell, John W. Nunley, and Jill Salmons
This book traces the visual cultures and histories of Mami Wata and other African water divinities. Mami Wata, often portrayed with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish, is at once beautiful, jealous, generous, seductive, and potentially deadly. A water spirit widely known across Africa and the African diaspora, her origins are said to lie “overseas,” although she has been thoroughly incorporated into local beliefs and practics. She can bring good fortune in the form of money, and her power increased between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries, the era of growing international trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Her name, which may be translated as “Mother Water” or “Mistress Water,” is pidgin English, a language developed to lubricate trade. Africans forcibly carried across the Atlantic as part of that “trade” brought with them their beliefs and practices honoring Mami Wata and other ancestral deities.
Henry John Drewal is the Evjue-Bascom Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other contributors include Marilyn Houlberg, Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Amy L. Noell, John W. Nunley, and Jill Salmons.
228 pages, 8 x 10 inches
ISBN 0-9748729-9-7, ISBN 978-0-9748729-9-5, paper, $25.00
Edited by Roy W. Hamilton and B. Lynne Milgram
Winner of 2008 R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, Textile Society of America
Asia is renowned for the production of fine handwoven cottons and luxurious silks—important items of trade for centuries. In addition to these celebrated fabrics, however, weavers throughout the region produced cloth from ramie, hemp, pina, and banana fibers (including Philippine abaca and Okinawan ito basho), as well as a number of lesser-known plant fibers. Over the course of the twentieth century, many of these Asian plant fiber weaving traditions became marginalized or hovered on the brink of extinction, given the advent of synthetic fabrics, growing industrialization, and increased international textile trade. As the essays in this book testify, however, they have not vanished altogether. Rather, in recent times weavers have purposefully chosen to pursue various efforts directed at their preservation, revival, or reinvention. In many cases, the production of bast and leaf fiber textiles is now thriving in newly globalized situations.
This volume presents eight essays documenting the current state of bast and leaf fiber weaving traditions in Vietnam, Borneo, Korea, Burma, Okinawa, the Philippines, Japan, and Micronesia. The processes that have nurtured or buffeted attempts to preserve or revive the production of these textiles are examined and abundantly illustrated with color photographs.
Roy W. Hamilton is curator of Asian and Pacific collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
B. Lynne Milgram is professor of anthropology at Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto.
The other contributors include Sylvia Fraser-Lu, Bu-ja Koh, Sophiano Limol, Elizabeth Oley, Melisssa M. Rinne, Donald H. Rubinstein, Amanda Mayer Stinchecum, Ma Thanegi, and Tran Thi Thu Thuy.
9 x 12 inches, 188 pages
204 color illustrations, 8 maps
ISBN 978-0-9748729-8-8, paper, $30
By Gloria Granz Gonick with contributions by Yo-ichiro Hakomori, Hiroyuki Nagahara, and Herbert Plutschow
This volume identifies and describes the exuberant textiles and costumes of matsuri—the centuries-old exuberant pageants knows for their extraordinary dress, performance, and Shinto-Buddhist ritual enactment-and considers their significance within their cultural context. Many of the examples illustrated date from the Meiji period (1868-1912), the last time when handwork was produced by individual artisans for their own use or that of their neighbors. The unique focus on festival arts in this book allows us to identify the special aesthetics that differentiate the textiles worn and used on Japan’s holy days.
9 x 12 inches, 256 pages
321 color illustrations, 2 maps
By Rens Heringa
In 1976 Dutch textile specialist Rens Heringa, then a resident of Indonesia, first visited Kerek in rural East Java and discovered there a last holdout, a region where—unlike the rest of Java—the full range of textiles with woven patterning, as well as the only batik still made on handwoven cotton cloth, continued to be produced for local use.
Moreover, each type of cloth made in Kerek is created for a specific purpose—to be worn by a person of a particular age, social, or residential group; to serve in life-cycle events such as marriage or funerals; to act as a focal point in agricultural ceremonies or curing rites. The functions, techniques, patterning, and especially the color combinations of the cloth all form part of a highly structured and elaborate system of belief that is remarkably integrated with the community’s social organization, mythology, and ritual practices. Remnants of similarly integrated systems of belief are known from many parts of Java, but by the late twentieth century the full system could be observed only in Kerek. Batik from Kerek today probably represents the most direct descendant of the earliest North Coast styles, which were antecedents of both the courtly and urban batik found in collections around the world. Rens Heringa has dedicated her career to documenting and analyzing the remarkable cloths of Kerek—traditions that are fundamental to understanding the textile history of Java.
9 x 12 inches, 99 pages
110 color illustrations, 3 maps
Textile Series, No. 9
By Christopher G. Bennett, Alma Ruiz, and Randi Malkin Steinberger
Order and Disorder looks at the cross-cultural context and collaborative nature of Aligheiero Boetti’s iconic artworks. The original, often large-scale works in his series Mappe (Maps), Tutto (Everything), and “squared word” were created in needle and thread by women in Afghanistan and in Pakistani refugee camps following the Soviet invasion in 1979, under the direction of Boetti (1940-1994).
Photographs of the artworks and of Afghan women embroidering them are accompanied by examples of embroidered garments and textiles made by Afghanistan’s diverse peoples. Such items reveal the country’s complex demography and illustrate the kinds of embroideries that were widely traded during the years that Boetti visited.
Christopher G. Bennett is the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Delaware. Roy Hamilton is senior curator of Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Alma Ruiz is a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Photographer Randi Malkin Steinberger collaborated with Alighiero Boetti on two previous books, Accanto al Pantheon and Boetti by Afghan People.
Bennett, Christopher et al: Order and Disorder. 2012
12 x 12 inches, 132 pages
129 color illustrations
ISBN 9780977834488, paper, $25
By Raymond Silverman, with contributions by Neal Sobania and Leah Niederstadt
In Painting Ethiopia, art historian Raymond Silverman explores the remarkable work and career of Ethiopian artist Qes Adamu Tesfaw. As Silverman reveals through insightful analysis and in-depth conversations with the artist spanning over eleven years, Qes Adamu’s work defies easy categorization. He is at once a devotional painter, a popular painter, a traditional painter, a genre painter, a history painter, and a commercial painter. On one hand, he is an artist schooled in the philosophy and aesthetics of a fifteen-hundred-year-old tradition associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His artwork, on the other hand, is often eccentric and individual.
Whether focusing on a few characters in a single episode inspired by a biblical story, painting a raging battle scene, or depicting his fellow citizens at work or prayer, Qes Adamu manages to achieve a psychological intensity that immediately engages the viewer. His bold color choices and unusual compositional strategies intensify the emotional power of his images and the narratives they relate. Silverman’s extensive knowledge of Ethiopian art history and his long-standing rapport with the artist help to situate Qes Adamu within a larger framework and to point out the inability of the “modern” versus “traditional” dichotomy to capture the multivalence of artistic expression in contemporary Africa.
120 pages, 10 x 10 inches
ISBN 0-9748729-2-X paper, $30.00
$15.00 — 50% off original price
By Elena Phipps
In this beautifully illustrated book, textile expert Elena Phipps examines the ancient Peruvian process of weaving textiles with four finished selvages, or edges. Without cutting a thread, master Peruvian weavers wove each textile to the specifications of its intended use, whether a child’s garment, royal mantle, or ritual cloth. This weaving technique required the highest level of skill and forethought and reflects a high cultural value placed on maintaining the integrity of cloth – not only its design and function but also the very way in which it was constructed. The resultant textiles have long been admired for their mastery of color, technique, and design.
While exploring the origins and development of this approach to weaving, Phipps also examines its influence on three contemporary artists—Sheila Hicks, James Bassler, and John Cohen—all of whom have considered ancient Peruvian weaving processes in their own work.
Elena Phipps is the author of Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color and Looking at Textiles: A Guide to Technical Terminology.
96 pages, 9 x 12 inches
ISBN 9780984755059, paperback, $27.00
Elizabeth Wayland Barber and Barbara Belle Sloan, editors
In the past, girls from rural southeastern Europe spent their childhoods weaving, sewing, and embroidering festive dress so that upon reaching puberty they could join the Sunday afternoon village dances garbed in resplendent attire. These extremely colorful and intensely worked garments were often adorned with embroidery, lace, metallic threads, coins, sequins, beads, and, perhaps most importantly, fringe, a symbolic marker of fertility. Over time new forms of dress were added so that by 1900, a southeastern European village woman’s apparel consisted of millennia of layered history. Even today this dress continues to be worn on festive occasions and by older people in rural areas.
Lavishly illustrated, Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe features fifty stunning nineteenth- through twentieth-century ensembles from Macedonia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, and neighboring countries―nearly all from the Fowler’s excellent collection―plus one hundred individual items including aprons, vests, jackets, and robes. The lead essay by world-renowned textile scholar Elizabeth Wayland Barber traces this twenty-thousand-year tradition of dress in fascinating detail. Chapters contributed by Charlotte Jirousek, Joyce Corbett, Elsie Ivancich Dunin, and Barbara Belle Sloan provide insight into historical variations, commonalities, and influences within this complex region.
276 pages, 315 illustrations, 285 in color
Notes, appendix, bibliography, index
9 x 12 in
Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9847550-3-5, $35
Hardback, ISBN: 978-0-9847550-4-2, $60
Edited by Donald J. Cosentino with contributions by Suzanne Preston Blier, Robert Farris Thompson, Sidney Mintz and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, Laënnec Hurbon, Karen McCarthy Brown, Mama Lola, Marilyn Houlberg, George René, Elizabeth McAlister.
This abundantly illustrated anthology brings together sixteen essays by scholars, artists, and ritual experts who examine the sacred arts of Haitian Vodou from multiple perspectives. Essays are grouped in three sections roughly united around the themes of history, praxis, and art. Between chapters are eighteen interleafs, one devoted to each of ten major Vodou divinities, one each to three altar installations mounted as part of the Fowler exhibition on the sacred arts of Vodou, one each to the paintings of Hector Hyppolite and the multimedia pieces of Pierrot Barra, one each to sequined bottles and sequined flags, and one to the work of Brooklyn Priestess Mama Lola. Preceding the text are an imagined map of Haiti by Prefete Duffaut and a foldout of a painting depicting the Vodou pantheon by renowned priest/painter André Pierre, with an excerpt of the painter’s thoughts on Vodou.
9 x 12 inches, 446 pages
303 color and 307 b/w illustrations, 3 maps
ISBN 0-930741-47-1, hard cover, $99.00
Allen. F. Roberts and Mary Nooter Roberts, with Gassia Armenian and Ousmane Gueye preface by Mamadou Diouf
Winner of the 2004 Herskovits Award from the African Studies Association
Winner of the 2004 Arnold Rubin Book Award at the ACASA (Arts Council of the African Studies Association) Triennial Symposium
Drawing on the long history of Islamic arts in sub-Saharan Africa, A Saint in the City investigates in depth the vibrant and sophisticated arts of urban Senegal. Underscoring the interconnectedness of art and life, it insightfully penetrates the visual culture of the Mouride Way, a Sufi movement steeped in the mystical teachings of Sheikh Amadou Bamba (1853-1927). It focuses in particular on the ways in which sacred images “work” for people as powerful acts of devotion and prayer. The remarkable proliferation of arts in the city of Dakar, from bold street murals to virtuosic calligraphy and intricate, colorful glass paintings, attests to the transformative potency of images in Mouridism. This way of life, grounded in the dignity and sanctity of work as conveyed by the teachings of Amadou Bamba, is observed by over four million Senegalese—half the Muslim population in this small country—as well as by thousands more around the globe.
A Saint in the City brings together a range of artists-regardless of background, training, rootedness in the “traditional” medium, or style-who share a belief in the Mouride Way. The book boldly transgresses the boundaries normally enforced between the local and the global, fine art and popular art, the gallery and the street, the historical and the contemporary.
9 x 12 inches, 284 pages
278 color and 2 halftone illustrations
By Gobi Stromberg with an essay by Ana Elena Mallet
Antonio Pineda (b. 1919) is renowned for translating design elements evocative of Mexico’s past into often-astounding modernist silver jewelry, sculpture, and tableware. Perhaps more than any of his talented counterparts, he has been able to abstract and refine, producing elegant, spare, and geometric works that evidence a profound respect for the wearer. Pineda was also instrumental in the formation of the Taxco School of silver design. The over two hundred remarkable Pineda objects illustrated in this volume reflect the artist’s intense imagination and quest for technical perfection.
While focusing on Pineda’s art from the 1930s through the 1970s, author Gobi Stromberg also places his career and the development of the Taxco School in context. She considers how a particular set of historical, political, cultural, social, and economic factors facilitated meetings between Mexican and American artists, intellectuals, writers, Hollywood stars, and musicians; spawned the building of roads opening up remote Mexican villages to a growing influx of U.S. tourists and expatriates of every stripe; encouraged a focus upon Mexico’s glorious Pre-Columbian heritage and the legacy of its indigenous peoples; and promoted the development of a unique system of production in the workshops of Taxco that made innovation and experimentation paramount. Stromberg and contributing essayist Ana Elena Mallet have in fact managed to untangle and address the multiple strands of influence that together resulted in an unprecedented period in silver design and execution, Taxco’s Silver Age.
188 pages, 9 x 12 inches
240 color and 32 b/w illusrtrations
EDITED BY PATRICK A. POLK
WITH LUIS AMERICO BONFIM, ALICIA GASPAR DE ALBA, SABRINA GLEDHILL, JIM PIEPER, KATHERINE SMITH, STEPHEN C. WEHMEYER, AND JERI BERNADETTE WILLIAMS
The margins of the Americas borders that are at once physical and societal engender sacred figures who walk the fine line between sinfulness and sanctity. In worship and artistic representation alike, these entities reflect and impact the experiences of those who regularly struggle with harsh and frequently dangerous economic, political, legal, geographic, gender, and racial realities.
In this volume, Patrick A. Polk and his fellow authors examine a series of crucial, and often controversial, divine beings from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Argentina, and the United States. They also find fascinating parallels between the lives and acts of these holy ones and those who have been formally sanctioned by the Catholic Church, revealing the peculiar interrelationship of sin to sanctity. Featured are numerous illustrations of the works of artists who interpret official and unofficial saints, folk heroes turned supernatural intercessors. The broad range of objects considered, from pop culture to fine art, attests to a widespread international infatuation with these complex and often counter-cultural spirits.
Edited by Beatrice Hohenegger
After water, tea is the most frequently consumed beverage on the face of the earth. In ancient China tea was regarded as one of the seven daily necessities of life; for many Japanese it has served as a ritual element in the quest for enlightenment. In England afternoon tea holds an immutable place in the popular imagination, while in the United States it is often associated with the American Revolution.
While various teas have been prepared in an assortment of ways and have played parts in countless culinary practices, it is also important to note that tea is and nearly always been a highly important commodity. As such, it has played a variety of striking and often paradoxical roles on the world stage—an ancient health remedy, an element of cultural practice, a source of profound spiritual insights, but also a catalyst for brutal international conflict, drug trafficking, crushing taxes, and horrific labor conditions. In the course of Steeped in History, editor Beatrice Hohenegger and eleven distinguished historians and art historians trace the impact of tea from its discovery in ancient China to the present-day tea plantations of Assam, crossing oceans and continents in the process. In so doing, they examine the multitude of ways in which tea has figured in the visual and literary arts. These include not only the myriad vessels fashioned for the preparation, presentation, and consumption of tea but also tea-related scenes embellishing ceramics and textiles and forming the subject of paintings, drawings, caricature, songs, and poetry.
Abundantly illustrated Steeped in History opens a window onto the long cultural, culinary, and historical journey of tea, reminding us that what may appear to be mundane can in fact be replete with spiritual, philosophical, and historical import.
9 x 12 inches, 236 pages
271 color images
Notes, bibliography, index
ISBN 978-0-9778344-1-9, paper, $40
Edited by Roy W. Hamilton and Joanna Barrkman
Contributions by Ruth Barnes, Joanna Barrkman, Anthony B. Cunningham, Anne Finch, Jill Forshee, Roy W. Hamilton, Jean Howe, William Ingram, Willy Daos Kadati, I Made Maduarta, Marie-Louise Nabholz-Kartaschoff, Rosália Elisa Madeira Soares, Yohannes Nahak Taromi, Jose Ximenes
Timor has been a divided island at least since the seventeenth century when Dutch and Portuguese colonial empires competed for its control. Despite this fragmentation, the weaving of cloth has remained intimately linked to the cultural history of the Timorese peoples as a whole. Handwoven cotton garments serve as markers of identity and nurture social relationships when they are exchanged.
Women in Timor weave an impressive variety of cloth, routinely combining more weaving techniques than any other region of Southeast Asia. This technical prowess and diversity of design make weaving the most important form of artistic expression in Timor and allow groups as small as individual families to proclaim their unique heritage.
Independence for Timor-Leste (East Timor) in 2002—following invasion by Indonesia and years of violent warfare (1975–1999)— brought with it more stable conditions and improved access for researchers. Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea brings together for the first time woven works from all parts of the island, demonstrating that the textile arts form a common foundation uniting the diverse peoples of Timor despite the painful history of its division.
9 x 12 inches, 252 pages
280 color and 23 b/w illustrations, 3 maps
ISBN 9780984755080, $50.00
Edited by Patrick Dowdey with essays by Zhang Meifang, Robert Glenn Ketchum, and Jo Q. Hill
Long intrigued with the possibility of integrating texture in his work, American landscape photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum was struck upon seeing a photograph of an extremely realistic embroidered portrait of Chairman Mao produced by the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute (SERI) during the Cultural Revolution. This remarkable depiction suggested to Ketchum that his own photographs could be reinterpreted as embroideries. In 1986 the photographer paid the first of many visits to Suzhou and, after intensive negotiations, initiated a highly successful collaboration that continues today.
This splendidly designed volume describes the history of SERI with illustrations of its traditional embroidery and then proceeds to pair Ketchum’s stunning photographic images with their exquisite embroidered counterparts. Essays by SERI director, Zhang Meifang, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Patrick Dowdey, and the Fowler Museum’s director of conservation, Jo Q. Hill, locate the achievement of the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute within the context of traditional Chinese embroidery and trace the willingness to innovate that has longed characterized this remarkable institution and has led to the unprecedented collaboration with Robert Glenn Ketchum.
9 x 12 inches, 172 pages
138 color and 17 b/w illustrations
ISBN 0-930741-71-4, paper, $45
$19.50 — 50% off original price
By Judith Bettelheim and Janet Catherine Berlo
with contributions by José Bedia, Lauren Derby, Orlando Hernández, and Alan Varela
Artist José Bedia, who was born and raised in Havana, was exposed during his early years to what scholar Fernando Ortiz has termed Cuba’s “intermeshed transculturation” and its hybrid religious forms. During his career, Bedia—who now lives and works in Miami—has traveled and continues to travel widely. His trips, however, are more aptly described as “pilgrimages” as they are motivated by his strong and long-standing connections to specific spiritual systems and practitioners—whether in his homeland, the Sonoran Desert of Mexico, the North American plains, the Amazonian rain forest, the Dominican countryside, or the Central African savanna. His early exposure to Espiritismo, his initiation into the highest level of Palo Monte, and his membership in the Native American Church are crucial to, and one might say inseparable from, his life and work.
Transcultural Pilgrim traces Bedia’s oeuvre over three decades, explicating in detail the many references to the religious systems, events, and personages that he depicts. Often punctuated with collaged historical photographs, Bedia’s paintings, drawings, and installations reflect a distinctive, bold, figural style. His two-dimensional work is often painted with his hands and fingers directly on paper or canvas. His artwork also features a strong narrative component, and it is not unusual for Bedia to incorporate text handwritten in Spanish, Kikongo, or Lakota.
The book includes insightful essays on Bedia’s involvement in Palo, his early and continuing visits to the indigenous Americas, his presentation of an alternative Caribbean history, and his connection to Central Africa by renowned scholars Judith Bettelheim and Janet Catherine Berlo. In addition it features an interview with the artist and his friend Alan Varela concerning their Central African travels and contributions by Cuban scholar Orlando Hernández and Lauren Derby, Associate Professor of History, UCLA.
11 x 8.5 inches, 216 pages
101 color and 9 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9778344-7-1, paper, $35
Edited by Chapurukha M. Kusimba, J. Claire Odland, and Bennet Bronson
Unwrapping the Textile Traditions of Madagascar presents the first extensive treatment of Madagascar’s textile traditions region by region, giving a systematic overview of the woven products of each part of the country. It includes types of cloth that have previously been overlooked and explores contrasting uses and meanings among the highly varied cultures of the island. It also publishes for the first time many of the remarkable cloths from the collection assembled by Ralph Linton in 1926 and 1927 for the Field Museum, which represents perhaps as much as 50 percent of the textile heritage of Madagascar.
Beautiful color illustrations and scholarly commentary make this book useful for scholars, connoisseurs, and heritage-preservation experts, as well as weavers interested in reviving traditional techniques and designs.
Chapurukha M. Kusimba is associate curator of African archaeology and ethnology, J. Claire Odland is a museum associate, and Bennet Bronson is curator of Asian archaeology and ethnology, all at the Field Museum in Chicago. Other contributors include Sarah Fee, Rebecca L. Green, Edgar Krebs, Ralph Linton, Liliana Mosca, Simon Peers, Richard Peigler, Chantal Radimilahy, Michel Razafiarivony, and Wendy Walker.
9 x 12 inches, 196 pages
11 color illustrations, 6 maps, 2005
ISBN 0-930741-95-, paper, $40
Edited by Martha G. Anderson and Philip M. Peek
An intricate maze of rivers and islands cuts across southern Nigeria’s Niger Delta, a region subject to floods, tides, and tropical downpours that continually alter its geography. While these waterways serve to separate the many ethnic groups dwelling in this aqueous environment—each with its own unique cultural traditions and often its language—they have also long been employed as routes of transmission and trade. Delta men and women traversed the region in canoes long before the Portuguese arrived at its shores in the fifteenth century. Their ideas and art forms—including some of the largest wood sculptures and most vibrant masquerades in all of Africa—traveled with them, being adopted, adapted, and sometimes appropriated in the process. European influence has also been keenly felt, and Western artifacts and articles of dress appear in shrines, regalia, and masquerades.
The essays assembled in this lavishly illustrated volume are unique in considering issues of cultural convergence and divergence within a single region in Africa. They examine and celebrate the “water-related” ethos and the “warrior” ethos that are present throughout the Delta and explore the influence of its unique environment on beliefs and material culture.
9 x 12 inches, 376 pages
430 color and 50 b/w illustrations
By Marla C. Berns
This lavishly illustrated volume, demonstrating the scope and depth of the vast and remarkable global collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA, has been produced as part of the ongoing celebration of the institution’s fiftieth-anniversary year. It recalls many of the highlights of the Museum’s formation, focusing not only on collections development but also on a long history of programmatic innovation.
The book begins with an essay by the Museum’s director, Marla C. Berns, which sketches the Fowler’s history, and this is followed by a section reproducing in color and large format 250 stunning works from the collection. Berns’s lengthy history of involvement with the Fowler-which began when she worked for the Museum as a graduate intern while pursuing her doctorate at UCLA-and the innovative strategies she has introduced, have uniquely situated her to author this book.
10.5 x 11 in., Hardcover
360 pp., 309 color illus.,
ISBN 9780984755066, $75.00
World Share: Installations by Pascale Marthine Tayou gives us a large-scale immersive environment that combines the artist’s sculpture, drawings, and poetry with Fowler artworks. Assembled from a stunning diversity of materials and found objects, Tayou’s art is characterized by an aesthetic of accumulation. He pierces Styrofoam with thousands of pins and razor blades, stacks hundreds of birdhouses against a wall, and adorns crystal glass figures with beads, plastic flowers, and feathers. This approach derives in part from the ways African sculpture is empowered with accumulations of materials to assert various kinds of religious, social, and political authority. Tayou uses this aesthetic to raise searching questions about inequalities of wealth and power in today’s postcolonial, global context at the same time he explores the hidden, spiritual forces that infuse ordinary, everyday life in African cities.
Pascale Marthine Tayou was born in Nkongsamba, Cameroon, and lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.
88 pp., 77 color illus., 8 x 10 in.
ISBN9780990762607, cloth, $20
Edited by Doran H. Ross with contributions by Agbenyega Adedze, Abena P. A. Busia, Nii O. Quarcoopome, Betsy D. Quick, Raymond Silverman, and Anne Spencer
Kente is not only the best known of all African textiles, it is also one of the most admired of all fabrics worldwide. Originating among the Asante peoples of Ghana and the Ewe peoples of Ghana and Togo, this brilliantly colored and intricately patterned strip-woven cloth was traditionally associated with the royalty. Over time, however, it has come to be worn and used in many different contexts. In Wrapped in Pride, seven distinguished scholars present an exhaustive examination of the history of kente from its earliest use in Ghana to its present-day impact in the African Diaspora.
9 x 12 inches, 248 pages
702 color and 50 b/w illustrations, 1 map
ISBN 0-930741-69-2, paper, $45