From its inception the museum’s mission has been inextricably tied to urban communities. Today, urban residents are seeing and experiencing a great deal of change, including changes in the demographic composition of U.S. cities and towns, and an increasing number and significance of cultural encounters between members of different ethnic and cultural communities. Other changes include gentrification, displacement, and loss of traditional neighborhoods and social networks; the impact of globalization and exchange of technology on community life; and the loss of traditional means of employment and income. A rapid pace of movement, displacement, and change characterizes cities and towns in the U.S. These trends mirror what is happening in other urban communities around the world.
In this section you will find materials on: historical and cultural connections between diverse communities; the broad historical and cultural contexts of changes that are seen day-to-day in community life; the impact of emerging technology; and explorations of the connections between individuals, community, and the larger society.
Ubuhle: Beadwork and the Art of Independence
The flat surface of the textile onto which the Ubuhle women bead is reminiscent of the Xhosa headscarves and skirts that many of them grew up wearing. Using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression, the Ubuhle community has re-imagined the longstanding beading tradition as a contemporary art form. Twenty-nine works are featured, including The African Crucifixion.