Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Curator’s Conversation, TEXTURES: the History and Art of Black Hair

Friday, September 3, 2021 at 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Human Ecology Building, T01

TEXTURES synthesizes research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent. Long a fraught topic for African Americans and others in the diaspora, Black hair is here addressed by artists, barbers, and activists in both its historical perceptions and its ramifications for self and society today. Combs, products, and implements from the collection of hair pioneer Willie Morrow are paired here with masterworks from artists including James Van Der Zee, Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mary Sibande and Zanele Muholi. Exploring topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display, TEXTURES is a landmark exploration of Black hair and its important, complicated place in the history of African American life and culture. The exhibition is organized by the KSU Museum with co-curators, Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history at KSU and Tameka Ellington, associate professor at the School of Fashion at KSU.

 Dr. Tameka Ellington will discuss the conceptualization of TEXTURES and the cultural significance of the three themes of the exhibition: community and memory, hair politics and Black joy.

This seminar is co-sponsored by Professor Tasha Lewis’s Stephen H. Weiss fellowship, the Central New York Humanities Corridor from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design, the Department of History, The Public History Initiative and the Cornell Fashion +  Textile Collection. This talk is part of the "Fashion & Social Justice" lecture series, which is hosted by the "Decolonizing Fashion Studies: Rethinking Curriculum, Collections, and Creative Practice" Central NY  Humanities Corridor working group.




Streaming site:

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type



Cornell Human Ecology, Human Ecology Design and Environmental Analysis [DO NOT USE deprecated 1/23/23], History



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Karen Steffy

Contact Phone



Dr. Tameka Ellington

Dept. Web Site

Recent Activity