Thursday, June 20, 2024

Afrofuturism in Costume Design Exhibition Opens at Jamestown Settlement

SCAD Atlanta – Winter 2021 – Exhibitions – Ruth E. Carter – “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” (Photography Courtesy of SCAD)

JAMESTOWN — Costumes from Oscar winner Ruth E. Carter will be the focus of Jamestown Settlement’s newest exhibit, “Afrofuturism in Costume Design,” which will be presented from May 11 through Dec. 1.

Carter, a graduate of Hampton University, has won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design. She has created powerful pieces for acclaimed films and television, including “Yellowstone,” “Roots,” “Amistad,” “Malcolm X,” “Selma,” “Do the Right Thing” and “Black Panther.”

“Creating Wakanda and designing Afrofuturistic looks where people can find their own beauty represented is the greatest gift of my career,” Carter is quoted on her webpage.

Ruth E. Carter (Photo: Colin Gray and SCAD FASH Museum)

The touring exhibit includes more than 60 of Carter’s original works that will be on display and explain her immersive process and the historical research put into each design, along with a special exhibition that showcases the work of Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation historical tailors who dress interpreters depicting people living in early America.

According to her website, Carter’s filmography and costume design uniquely capture the African-American narrative and leave their mark on cinematic history. The exhibition features costumes and artifacts from her career and includes interactive elements and a showcase of costumes from Carter’s private collection.

As guests tour the exhibit space, they will be able to see rare, hand-drawn images of legendary film characters and experience a behind-the-scenes look into her research, design, and production process which will inspire the creative storyteller within.

“One of the things that inspired us to bring the exhibition here was because of the amazing historical research she [Carter] has done for the bulk of her career to recreate clothing for film and television,” stated Mariruth Leftwich, senior director of Museum Operations & Education, “It is very similar to the work we do in our living history work and historical clothing to recreate the past for visitors coming to our museums.”

Leftwich says this is an opportunity for visitors to see a combination of both history and futurist dynamic costumes which will encourage them to think about their place in the future based on where we have come from.

Black Panther – “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” (Photography Courtesy of SCAD)

“What Ruth’s career has been most recently known for is her work in the Afrofuturism space with “Black Panther” and “Wakanda Forever.” I think what will be fun is that visitors will get a chance to see both the historic piece and the way research, even in her Afrofuturism pieces, is really drawn on historical sources and inspiration from the past,” said Leftwich.

“Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design” is included with general admission to Jamestown Settlement. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive complimentary admission to both museums with proof of residency.

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