Contemporary Muslim Fashions Receives Prestigious Award from the Costume Society of America

Naima Muhammad (b. 1973, United States) for House of Coqueta (est. 2010, United States), Photograph by Sebastian Kim  

SAN FRANCISCO – The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are proud to announce that Jill D’Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts, and Laura L. Camerlengo, Associate Curator of Costume and Textile Arts, have received the “2020 Richard Martin Exhibition Award” from the Costume Society of America, for organizing the pioneering exhibition Contemporary Muslim Fashions.

Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex and diverse nature of Muslim modest fashion. The Richard Martin Exhibition Award recognizes outstanding costume exhibitions presented by exhibitions that demonstrate excellence and innovation in the interpretation and presentation of costume, providing a transforming experience to the public.

In addition to this award, Contemporary Muslim Fashions was awarded the "Enhancing Understanding" Award from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2018, which recognized the Museums for its work to help increase understanding about Islam and Muslims, and more generally diverse communities.

Following its widely acclaimed presentation at the de Young museum in San Francisco, the exhibition traveled to Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt. It is now at Cooper Hewitt in New York City.

Congratulations to Jill, Laura, and the entire team at the Fine Arts Museums for their work on this groundbreaking exhibition.

About Contemporary Muslim Fashions
The first major museum exhibition to explore the complex and diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide, Contemporary Muslim Fashions examines how Muslim women—those who cover their heads and those who do not—have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities, and in so doing, have drawn mass-media attention to contemporary Muslim life. Including social media as primary material, Muslim voices, visions, and personal narratives are framed by runway footage, news clips, and documentary and fashion photography. Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, UAL served as consulting curator for the exhibition.

About the Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts
Since its inception, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have been devoted to the collecting, study, and display of costume and textile artworks. Today, the Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts has grown to be truly global in its scope, with holdings that span two-and-a-half millennia and represent cultures from 125 countries. The collection comprises more than 13,000 textiles and costumes from traditions around the world. Collection highlights include rare 12th- through 15th-century Central Asian and North Indian silks, the most important group of Anatolian kilims outside Turkey, Turkmen carpets, European tapestries, ecclesiastical textiles, contemporary Bay Area fiber art, and 20th- and 21st-century couture. Since the opening of the new de Young in 2005, the textile arts department has enjoyed an exciting and successful exhibition program by developing in-house exhibitions and hosting major touring exhibitions, as well as collaborating with other museums, fashion houses, artist’s studios, and guest curators. Past fashion exhibitions include Yves Saint Laurent (2008–2009), Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave (2011), Balenciaga and Spain (2011), and The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll (2017).

Exhibition Organization
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsor: Anonymous. Lead support is provided by the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, with major support from The Herbst Foundation, Inc. Significant support provided by Sam Hirbod and the Textile Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Generous support is provided by Frances F. Bowes, Stephanie and Jim Marver, and Susan and Jim Swartz. Additional support is provided by Richard and Peggy Greenfield, Robin Rosa Laub, and the Neda Nobari Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Elemental LED.

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It holds the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.