Aug 31, 2017 - 5 pm
Main Level, All Galleries and Link Gallery

Join us to celebrate Opening Night and get a first look at KAM's newest art exhibitions

Private Members' Preview and Reception

The evening begins with a private preview and catered reception for museum members at 5 pm. To attend, please RSVP for this event by calling 217 244 0516 or email KAM by Friday, August 25.

Public Opening Reception

Exhibitions will open to the public at 6 pm with a welcome by Allyson Purpura, senior curator and curator of Global African Arts, and Prita Meier, assistant professor of Art History at New York University, curators of World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean.

Exhibitions opening:

World on the Horizon: Swahili Art Across the Indian Ocean

East Gallery


Propositions on Revolution (Slogans for a Future)

West Gallery, Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court


Coveting Nature: Art, Collecting, and Natural History in Early Modern Europe

Contemporary Gallery


School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition

Gelvin Noel Gallery


Provenance: A Forensic History of Art 

Kinkead Gallery


The reception will be catered by Michaels' Catering and hosted by Krannert Art Museum Council. All galleries will remain open until 9 pm.




Detail of mantle with hummingbird design, ca. 100 BCE. Peru, Nasca. Cotton, alpaca wool. Gift of Fred Olsen and the Art Acquisition Fund 1967-29-56
Detail of mantle with hummingbird design, ca. 100 BCE. Peru, Nasca. Cotton, alpaca wool. Gift of Fred Olsen and the Art Acquisition Fund 1967-29-56
Peru, Nasca
ca. 100 BCE

73 1/4 x 56 3/4 inches

The Nasca people, heirs to the South Coast Peruvian textile tradition, continued the well-established practice of wrapping and burying their dead in multiple large woven mantles. Mantles such as this, which is believed to date from early in the Nasca period (ca. 400 BCE–ca. 800 CE), demonstrate a high degree of technical skill and investment of labor.

One can infer a strong connection between the number and quality of a deceased individual's burial shrouds and the status or social role that person had in life. Although little is known of the exact origin of this particular textile, its former owner was most likely a fairly high-ranking member of Nasca society.

The arid climate of the region accounts for the preservation of the textile's vivid color scheme. Embellished with a wool border of intricately detailed and alternately colored hummingbirds, the main body of the piece is composed of a single expanse of dark blue plain-weave cotton cloth. The hummingbirds were fashioned in a difficult embroidery technique sometimes referred to as needle-knitting or cross-knit looping. The cross-knit looping technique is indicative of the early Nasca stylistic phase.

The hummingbird design may have symbolic meaning. In nature, the birds are fast, agile, and very territorial; they will not hesitate to attack much larger birds that stray into their territory. Several ancient Peruvian artistic traditions draw an analogy between warriors and hummingbirds, and it may be that this mantle shrouded an important member of the warrior class.

Text by Margaret A. Jackson, from Krannert Art Museum: Selected Works, 2008