David Adjaye Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, June 19 – February 14, 2016

“I have always been interested in the abstraction and range of techniques associated with African textiles,” Adjaye said. “This exhibition offers an exciting moment of engagement within the context of my architectural work. The textiles offer a fascinating narrative that references history, community, spirituality and opportunity and resonates widely with the idea of society and civilization.” — David Adjaye

Man’s hat (ashetu). Cameroon, after 1957. Crocheted cotton, wood splints. 19.1 x 35.6 cm (7 1/2 x 14 in.). Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. William Goulding, 2003-3-1. Photo: Matt Flynn.

Man’s hat (ashetu). Cameroon, after 1957. Crocheted cotton, wood splints. 19.1 x 35.6 cm (7 1/2 x 14 in.). Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. William Goulding, 2003-3-1

2007-8-1 Matt Flynn

Kente prestige cloth. Ghana, early–mid-20th century. Cotton, mercerized cotton. Hand-loomed weft-faced plain weave, H x W: 320 × 194.3 cm (10 ft. 6 in. × 6 ft. 4 1/2 in.). Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

1969-11-5 Matt Flynn

Woman’s head wrap. Nigeria, early to mid-20th century. Cotton. Hand-loomed warp-faced plain weave, supplementary weft patterning. H x W: 256.5 × 60.3 cm (8 ft. 5 in. × 23 3/4 in.). Gift of Mrs Calvin W. Stillman

Adire wrapper. Gambia, ca. 1990. Indigo-dyed damask-woven cotton, patterned by machine-stitched resist. 143.5 × 132 cm (56 1/2 × 51 15/16 in.). Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 1993-136-2. Photo: Matt Flynn.

Adire wrapper. Gambia, ca. 1990. Indigo-dyed damask-woven cotton, patterned by machine-stitched resist. 143.5 × 132 cm (56 1/2 × 51 15/16 in.). Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 1993-136-2

2000-22-2 Matt Flynn

Bogolanfini woman’s wrapper. Mali, mid-20th century. Cotton. Hand-loomed plain weave, patterned with hand drawn mud dyeing (mud cloth). H x W: 160.7 × 109.2 cm (63 1/4 × 43 in.). Museum purchase from The Grodzins Fund for Textile Acquisition

1962-117-2 Matt Flynn

Adire wrapper. Nigeria, ca. 1960, Nigeria. Cotton. Factory-woven plain weave, tied- and stitched-resist patterning, indigo-dyed Label: indigo-dyed cotton patterned with tied and stitched resist. H x W: 191.1 × 82.6 cm (6 ft. 3 1/4 in. × 32 1/2 in.). Gift of the Estate of Mary Kirby

1988-56-1 Matt Flynn

Pelete Bite wrapper. Nigeria, 1930s. Cotton. Factory-woven plain weave, withdrawn-thread work Label: cotton with withdrawn-thread work. Warp x Weft (weft selvedge to selvedge): 363 x 87 cm (11 ft. 10 15/16 in. x 34 1/4 in.). Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund

1979-23-1 Matt Flynn

Wrapper. Ivory Coast, mid-20th century. Cotton, rayon. Hand-loomed warp-faced plain weave with discontinuous supplementary weft patterning, tied-resist patterning in warp (ikat), indigo-dyed. H x W: 174 × 104.1 cm (5 ft. 8 1/2 in. × 41 in.). Museum purchase from Textile Department Fund

Man’s cap (laket). Kuba peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, late 19th–early 20th century. Looped raffia, raffia pompoms. 16.5 x 23.5 cm (6 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.). Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund, 1957-110-14. Photo: Matt Flynn.

Man’s cap (laket). Kuba peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, late 19th–early 20th century. Looped raffia, raffia pompoms. 16.5 x 23.5 cm (6 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.). Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund, 1957-110-14

1969-11-9 Matt Flynn

Woman’s wrapper. Nigeria, early to mid-20th century. Cotton. Hand-loomed basket weave of 2 warps x 3 wefts, patterned by supplementary weft floats bound down every 6th warp, some use of non-horizontal wefts. Warp x Weft: 168.9 × 118.7 cm (5 ft. 6 1/2 in. × 46 3/4 in.). Gift of Mrs Calvin W. Stillman

Man’s cap (laket). Kuba peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, late 19th–early 20th century. Looped raffia, raffia pompoms. 16.5 x 23.5 cm (6 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.). Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund, 1957-110-14. Photo: Matt Flynn.

Man’s cap (laket). Kuba peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, late 19th–early 20th century. Looped raffia, raffia pompoms. 16.5 x 23.5 cm (6 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.). Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund, 1957-110-14

1969-11-1 Matt Flynn

Kente prestige cloth. Ghana, early to mid-20th century. Viscose rayon. Hand-loomed plain weave with discontintuous supplementary weft patterning Label: strip-woven silk with alternating warp and weft-faced patterning, brocading. H x W: 328.9 x 217.2 cm (10 ft. 9 1/2 in. x 7 ft. 1 1/2 in.). Gift of Mrs Calvin W. Stillman

Exhibition photos: Matt Flynn. Installation photo: Allison Hale © 2015 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Images courtesy Cooper Hewitt Museum