SACRED | Garments

Coat of Invocation
Coat of Invocation
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, 2011
Mixed media with handmade paper (mulberry fibers, commercial envelopes, cotton thread, matte medium, acrylics, Rit® dye, Japanese green tea)
Anonymous gift 2013.7
First Soldier at the Wall, Six Day War
First Soldier at the Wall, Six Day War
Micha Bar-Am, Published by Photographic Publishers International, 1967
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Elaine Dines Cox and Kris Cox 98.265.6.1
Gope board
Gope board
18th century
Wood, pigment
The John R. Van Derlip Fund 67.56
Ode to Friendship, Old Faces and New (Magic Wand with Portraits of Frank Cummings and David Ellsworth)
Ode to Friendship, Old Faces and New (Magic Wand with Portraits of Frank Cummings and David Ellsworth)
Frank E. Cummings III, 1985-87
Zebrawood, ivory, gold, etched glass
Gift of the collection of Mari and Irving Lipton 2009.74.6
Hmong Shaman, Frogtown
Hmong Shaman, Frogtown
Wing Young Huie, 1994
Gelatin silver print
Gift of funds from David Parker 98.228.8
Priest
Priest
Katsushika Hokusai, 1811-1820
Ink on paper
Bequest of Richard P. Gale 74.1.316
Chasuble
Chasuble
18th century
Silk, metallic thread; embroidery
The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund 85.114
Dalmatic
Dalmatic
16th century
Linen, silk, metallic threads; embroidery
The William Hood Dunwoody Fund 31.65
Cardinal Pacelli at Montmartre, Paris
Cardinal Pacelli at Montmartre, Paris
Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1938
Gelatin silver print
The Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison Fund 95.6.23
Photography album, images of Japan
Photography album, images of Japan
19th-20th century
Gelatin silver prints, hand-tinted, album
Gift of Howard and Dorothy Pramann from the Mrs. M.J. McKelvy Estate, St. Cloud, MN 93.79.62
Amulet
Amulet
Amy Two Bulls, 1964
Beads, animal hide
Gift of Michael and Sandra Schwab 2002.202
Info
 
Gallery 280

In March 2013, when the newly selected Pope Francis I rejected the traditional red slippers of his office in favor of street shoes; it was more than a fashion statement. It was a display of humility, his footwear reflecting austerity and an “on the ground” connectedness with his flock.

From Catholic vestments to Taoist and Buddhist robes, SACRED|GARMENTS reflects how humans have long endowed garments and objects with spiritual and sacred power, transforming the wearer. Inside or outside a formal religious context, traditional talismanic objects are imbued with power. A West African hunter’s shirt reflects his power while ensuring success in the hunt. Gope boards from New Guinea deflect worldly threats through intimidating images. A felt suit gives a European artist shamanistic status. Similar spiritual associations are also made in contemporary contexts. With its messages in tiny envelopes, Erica Spitzer Rasmussen’s Coat of Invocation is meant to facilitate the healing of a relative fighting cancer. Marcus Young’s flowing blue robe, which he wore while slowly and silently striding through the MIA in performance-art pieces during 2011, set him apart from other visitors, suggesting an otherworldly connection.

— Jennifer Komar Olivarez, associate curator of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture