CUMBI: Textiles, Society and Memory in Andean South America

   October 14, 2023 – February 25, 2024
   Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

Unidentified artist, The Child Mary Spinning, 18th century, Oil and gold on canvas, Collection of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation.

Inspired by the term’s dual emphasis on artistry and society, CUMBI: Textiles, Society, and Memory in Andean South America offers a new look at 2,000 years of art in Andean traditions. Presenting textiles from the ancient Andes alongside the creations of contemporary Latin American and Latinx artists inspired by ancestral weaving, the exhibition affirms the enduring, central role of cloth as a useful tool for thinking about aesthetics, social difference, and histories over millennia. Ancient works of Wari, Chimú, and Inka weaving drawn from the permanent collection embody the artistry of Andean textile logics. Contemporary works by expert weavers who carry ancient Andean traditions exemplify the enduring significance of the tradition. And art by contemporary practitioners shows that cloth can be a powerful tool for social commentary and critique in our own moment. Emphasizing the relevance of Andean traditions today, CUMBI offers a vision across millennia of the intimate connection between cloth and social life in a region that has long celebrated woven art.

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