In the news: Fashion as fine art: African expression

By Lily Goodman, The Daily Iowan

The former African-art curator at the UI Museum of Art (1995-2004), Professor Victoria Rovine loves to study clothing, and she also loves to study African art.

“Fashion is the fine-art version of clothing,” said Rovine, now an associate professor of art history at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. “Most people see it all the time, have opinions about it, relate it, and so I love to show people in the U.S. that Africans have sophisticated clothing and fashion that can reveal a lot about their history and creativity.”

At 7:30 p.m. today, Rovine will present the Iowa City community with a glimpse into African fashion at Art Building West. The lecture will address the inventiveness of African fashion design and the history behind it.

Rovine has found Africa’s fashion production, both now, and in the past, often recounts vivid narratives about its history in addition to the global network of goods and images.

“These garments reveal profound ideas about changing conceptions of tradition modernity and the balance of these broad categories in contemporary African cultures,” she said.

In her lecture, she will talk about the forms of embroidery in Mali, the country she is both fond of and her primary research subject.

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