Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women
April 4, 2020 – July 5, 2020
East Building, Level B, Meymandi Exhibition Gallery
Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women is the first major exhibition of Senegalese gold jewelry to date that focuses on the history of Senegal’s gold, from past to present, and the beauty and complexity of the way Senegalese women use ornament and fashion to present themselves. A key theme of the exhibition is the Senegalese concept of sañse (a Wolof word for dressing up or looking and feeling good). Good as Gold explores how a woman in a city like Dakar might use a piece of gold jewelry to build a carefully tailored, elegant fashion ensemble.
Currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., through September 29, 2019
The exhibition also looks at the interconnectedness of local and global expressions and understanding of fashion. In addition to presenting nearly 120 works, the exhibition unveils an haute couture ensemble inspired by the strength and savoir faire of Senegalese women, designed by Oumou Sy—Senegal’s “Queen of Couture” and its most celebrated fashion designer.
Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women is organized by Kevin D. Dumouchelle of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution. It is curated by Amanda Maples of the North Carolina Museum of Art. The exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.