Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Detail of 2003.50.37 Gift of William R. Moran   Weird and Just Downright Weird As 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 ...
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Visions of 2020: Eyeglasses of the Bowers Museum

Glasses, 18th to 20th Century Various Manufacturers; North America and Europe Glass, metal, plastic and tortoiseshell 2000.8.13,.39,.80,.95.,113,.170,.176,.225,.244,.251,.284,.537 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston To See or Not to See Twenty-Twenty is perfect vision, it’s said that it is hindsight, and mostly importantly it’s the new year. To be...
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Shine Bright Like a Star of Bethlehem Quilt

Star of Bethlehem Pattern Quilt, c. 1840 Maker unknown Cotton; 100 x 100 in. 2002.14.86 Gift of Mr. William R. Moran Hindsight is This Year With 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...
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Snakes and Stones: Perak Headdresses from Ladakh

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

Baby Carrier with Pleated Ties, 20th Century Miao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, Asia Cotton and silk; 23 x 30 in. 2008.9.71 Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Miao Mom Weightlifting Club We 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 ...
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I Came, I Saw Ikat: Sumbanese Hinggi

Shoulder Cloth ( Hinggi ), late 20th Century Sumba culture; Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia Cotton; 96 × 112 in. 2016.15.45 Anonymous Gift Syncretic Dyeing Art has always been a chorus of different groups reacting to, influencing, inspiring and drawing upon one another’s creations. On the small East Indone...
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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 101 Recent 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 ...
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Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum

Crazy Quilt, c.1900 Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, Wisconsin Silk and velvet; 60 x 75 in. 80.35.1 Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. Carr Quilty as Charged One 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 2...
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Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther

Gold Ear Ornaments ( Kwottenai ), 20th Century Fulani culture; Mali Gold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in. 97.13.1.1-.2 Gift of Bowers Museum Collector's Council Wakanda Forever Marvel 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 tradition...
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Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao

S-Shaped Counterweight, 20th Century Miao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, China Silver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in. 2015.26.59 Anonymous Gift Glance at the Moon Alternate 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...
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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. 1920 Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico Wool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in. 2016.12.4 Gift of Dennis Aigner              Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920              Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico &n...
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Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats

Children’s Festival Hats, 19th to 20th Century China Cotton, silk, foil appliqué, wire and metal 2001.1.13, .50, .16 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne Shih Children of Many Hats Rural China during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) saw many of the same problems that developing nations still see today. Unfortunately, poor hygiene standards meant th...
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Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Dance Clubs ( Kiakavo ), 19th Century Fiji, Polynesia Wood, fiber and pigment 97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10 Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin Collection Two late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum Collection Gift of Mr. E. Morgan Stanley Fijian Club Scene Up until and in...
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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Glass Earrings ( Dimbo ), 19 th Century Waropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, Melanesia Glass 2017.8.1-.5 Bowers Museum Purchase Though 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...
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Society through the Looking Glass

Lorgnettes, 18 th to early 20 th Centuries Probably France and United States Metal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass 2000.8.37, .39, .123 Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston  “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.” –Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca 2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding. Lorgnettes, spectacles h...
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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917 Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951) Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. Sprague Most 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, ...
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Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana

Wrap-Around Garment ( Kente ), early to mid 20th Century Akan or Ewe culture; Ghana Cotton and silk; 66 1/2 × 105 in. 2016.15.30 Anonymous Gift Like 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 textil...
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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 19 th  and early 20 th  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 a...
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Japanese Wedding Kimono

Wedding Furisode Kimono (Furisode), c. 1900 Japanese Silk and thread F78.62.1 Bowers Museum Purchase A 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 fur...
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