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"Flaming Red Cloth: Color and Design in the Weavings of the Iban of Borneo"
2005-12-14 until 2006-03-26
Cantor Arts Center Stanford University
Stanford, CA, USA United States of America

The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents a select grouping of works from 170-plus Indonesian textiles donated by TheChristensen Fund to the Cantor Arts Center in 2000.  Flaming Red Cloth: Color and Design in the Weavings of the Iban of Borneo, on view December 14, 2005–March 26, 2006, features half-a-dozen textiles from the Iban people of Borneo. "Iban societies value personal achievement; leadership roles are earned though individual prowess and skill," said Gerry Masteller, the exhibition's guest curator.  "Some of Iban women's highest accomplishments are within the domain of textile weaving, their design, and dyeing.  This show illustrates the skill of these women in creating textiles that are considered efficacious and potent as ceremonial art forms."

Masteller, who has researched Indonesian textile arts for 20 years, explained, "A talented Iban woman would gain the highest social rank if she showed the ability to dye cotton thread in a deep, saturated red color 'like the flames of fire.'  She would increase her prestige by inventing new patterns, sometimes inspired by spirit-induced dreams.  Individual expression and innovation in textile design is a sub-theme of this exhibition."

To clarify the intricate designs, Masteller has devised a hands-on display within the gallery that allows visitors to isolate patterns and graphic textile elements, layer them back again, and better understand a textile's complex totality of design.

Gerry Masteller will give talks in the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery, where the textiles are on view, Thursdays, December 15 and February 16, at 6 pm.  Admission is free. 

The Christensen Fund and Christensen family have been generous donors of art and monetary gifts to the arts at Stanford.  In 1992, Carmen Christensen made a leadership-level gift to the museum's rebuilding fund, and in 2001, The Christensen Fund pledged another major monetary gift for the museum's endowment.  Other gifts support a curatorship in Asian Art and several special changing exhibitions.

This exhibition is made possible by the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery Fund.

Malaysia, Iban
Large Ceremonial Blanket (pua kumbu), 19th century
Cotton plain weave with natural dyes, warp ikat
99-1/2 x 72 in.
Gift of the Christensen Fund, 2000.410

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