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Nigerian Fashion Designer, Patience Tolorwei To Display Dress At Smithsonian Museum

Nigerian fashion designer, Patience Tolorwei is set to display a special hand-painted haute couture dress at the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC.

The dress called ‘Esther’ is the first piece of haute couture ever to join the National Museum of African Art’s permanent collection when it was donated by Torlowei.

The National Museum of African Art is the Smithsonian Institution‘s African art museum and the first institution dedication to African Art in the United States.

Its collections include 9,000 works of traditional and contemporary African art from both Sub-Saharan and Arab North Africa, 300,000 photographs, and 50,000 library volumes.

From L – R: Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Abuja, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd), an International Exhibitor, Patience Torlowei of Bayelsa State, and the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Culture & Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor, during the send-forth ceremony of the award winning dress ‘Esther’ ( at the background) designed by Patience Torlowei, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, at the Banquet hall, Government House, Yenagoa.
Photo by Michael Owi.

Tolorwei gave the history of the dress through her official Instagram page @torloweiofficial.

She wrote, “5 years ago the @smithsonian institute’s @nmafa invited our creative director @patience_torlowei to create 8 special pieces to commemorate the museum’s 50th anniversary.

“The celebrations along the theme of “Earth Matters”. The final piece in this special series was the #EstherDress, a one-of-a-kind raw silk dress painted on by hand.”

NAN reports that the dress will be on display to the public for the first time since she joined the Museum’s collection on June 20.

The display will be part of the #IAMExhibit, a celebration of female contemporary artists from Africa, the Museum’s first all-female exhibition.

The dress, which tells the story of the way Africans have treated the continent despite its abundant wealth, will be available for viewing by the general public until July 2020.


Written by PH

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