Raising Flags: The Stars and Stripes of the Bowers

Quilt, c. 1920Maker unknown; United StatesCotton, fabric and flannel; 47 1/4 x 40 1/4 in.32147AGift of the Fredda Barger EstateMurky TerritoryAside from the places we have traditionally seen the American flag since it was first introduced in 1777, it seems like every year it appears in more and more unexpected situations. In 2020 one is as likely t...
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Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Detail of 2003.50.37Gift of William R. Moran Weird and Just Downright WeirdAs part of an ongoing project to classify the Bowers Museum’s collections, our Collections team has reached many an oddball object that does not easily fall into standard categories. Many more have outlandish or wonderfully rare names. Today’s post is a celebration of t...
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Visions of 2020: Eyeglasses of the Bowers Museum

Glasses, 18th to 20th CenturyVarious Manufacturers; North America and EuropeGlass, metal, plastic and tortoiseshell2000.8.13,.39,.80,.95.,113,.170,.176,.225,.244,.251,.284,.537Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard PrestonTo See or Not to SeeTwenty-Twenty is perfect vision, it’s said that it is hindsight, and mostly importantly it’s the new year. To better p...
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Shine Bright Like a Star of Bethlehem Quilt

Star of Bethlehem Pattern Quilt, c. 1840Maker unknownCotton; 100 x 100 in.2002.14.86Gift of Mr. William R. MoranHindsight is This YearWith the holiday season now tragically in our rearview, and with us either already returned to our weekly lives or soon to reenter the fray, sometimes it is nice to take one last gander at an aspect of the late annum...
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Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh

Headdress (Perak), late 20th CenturyLadakhi culture; Ladakh Region, Jammu and Kashmir State, IndiaCotton, lambskin, yak hair, turquoise, coral, carnelian and silver; 54 × 20 × 1 3/4 in.2019.7.1Anonymous GiftCrown of the Roof of the WorldLadakh is a region of India located in the barren mountainous foothills between the Himalayas and the Karakoram M...
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Baby Back Cribs: Embroidered Carriers of the Miao

Baby Carrier with Pleated Ties, 20th CenturyMiao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, AsiaCotton and silk; 23 x 30 in.2008.9.71Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihMiao Mom Weightlifting ClubWe should be thankful to the wonderful moms in our lives every day, but Mother’s Day is the one day a year we have chosen to distill that love into the ta...
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I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi

Shoulder Cloth (Hinggi), late 20th CenturySumba culture; Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Lesser Sunda Islands, IndonesiaCotton; 96 × 112 in.2016.15.45Anonymous GiftSyncretic DyeingArt has always been a chorus of different groups reacting to, influencing, inspiring and drawing upon one another’s creations. On the small East Indonesian isl...
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Dharma Wheels and High Heels: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan in Dialogue

Guo Pei's Garden of Soul collection backed by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan's paintings.Fashion 101Recent visitors to the Bowers Museum will have noticed a few new faces—placid as they may be—in the Freedman Galleria, the long hallway travelling between our main desk and the Bowers Museum’s changing gallery spaces. Of course, these seven new, poised vi...
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Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum

Crazy Quilt, c.1900Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, WisconsinSilk and velvet; 60 x 75 in.80.35.1Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. CarrQuilty as ChargedOne of the earliest, largest, and most-often exhibited collections of Americana at the Bowers is the museum’s collection of quilts, ranging in date from our nation’s independence to the end of the 20th Ce...
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Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther

Gold Ear Ornaments (Kwottenai), 20th CenturyFulani culture; MaliGold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in.97.13.1.1-.2Gift of Bowers Museum Collector's CouncilWakanda ForeverMarvel Studios’ newly released Black Panther (2018)—a film about T’Challa, the superhero monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda—features an incredible fusion of traditional Afric...
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Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao

S-Shaped Counterweight, 20th CenturyMiao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, ChinaSilver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in.2015.26.59Anonymous GiftGlance at the MoonAlternate image of 2015.26.59.Silver was used as a currency in China as early as the turn of the common era. It is unclear when exactly the Dong and Miao of southern China began ...
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J.B. Moore: More than One Way to Sell a Rug

Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, c. 1920Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New MexicoWool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in.2016.12.4Gift of Dennis Aigner            Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920            Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico  &nbs...
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Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats

Children’s Festival Hats, 19th to 20th CenturyChinaCotton, silk, foil appliqué, wire and metal2001.1.13, .50, .16Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne ShihChildren of Many HatsRural China during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) saw many of the same problems that developing nations still see today. Unfortunately, poor hygiene standards meant that man...
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Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Dance Clubs (Kiakavo), 19th CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood, fiber and pigment97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin CollectionTwo late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum CollectionGift of Mr. E. Morgan StanleyFijian Club SceneUp until and in the few d...
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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Glass Earrings (Dimbo), 19th CenturyWaropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaGlass2017.8.1-.5Bowers Museum PurchaseThough we may think of it now as an isolated, inaccessible part of the world, New Guinea has always been rich in organic and mineral resources; the peoples of its coasts welcome partners to comm...
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Society through the Looking Glass

Lorgnettes, 18th to early 20thCenturiesProbably France and United StatesMetal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass2000.8.37, .39, .123Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.”–Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding.Lorgnettes, spectacles held in plac...
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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. SpragueMost everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, Robe...
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Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana

Wrap-Around Garment (Kente), early to mid 20th CenturyAkan or Ewe culture; GhanaCotton and silk; 66 1/2 × 105 in.2016.15.30Anonymous GiftLike words composing complex thoughts, the colors and patterns of Ghana’s kente cloth work together to symbolize intricate ideas. The vibrantly-colored fabric not only tells of Ghana’s history; these textiles have...
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Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda.Globalization in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art and tra...
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Japanese Wedding Kimono

Wedding Furisode Kimono (Furisode), c. 1900JapaneseSilk and threadF78.62.1Bowers Museum PurchaseA woman’s first furisode (a long-sleeved kimono, literally “swinging sleeve”) is given to her at the age of 20 when she is recognized as an adult, allowed to vote, responsible for committing crimes and is officially allowed to smoke and drink. A furisode...
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