Contemporary Voices: Fabiola Jean-Louis

Bluish-green 18th-century style gown with a pink and white ruffled bodice made out of paper
Fabiola Jean-Louis (Haitian, b. 1978), "Garden Dress II" (detail). Photo courtesy of the artist.


Join artist Fabiola Jean-Louis for a discussion of her ongoing exploration of the relationship between history, memory and identity. From her paper gowns to printed photographs, Jean-Louis guides us along her journey through the lens of time.

Jean-Louis’ Rewriting History series consisting of period paper gowns, painterly photographs and Polaroids has been exhibited at several institutions including Smithsonian affiliates and the DuSable Museum of African American History. In 2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art commissioned a paper sculpture for a two-year exhibition, Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room. It debuted in 2021, making Jean-Louis the first Haitian woman artist to show in the prestigious institution.

About Fabiola Jean-Louis

Fabiola Jean-Louis was born in Port Au Prince, Haiti, and moved to Brooklyn at a young age. While attending the High School of Fashion Industries, her passion for the arts flourished. Jean-Louis discovered her talent for photography much later in life. Around 2013 she began taking self-portraits as a matter of convenience, shyness and because she knew how to convey the stories she wanted to tell using her body. Later her work grew to include other subjects, costumes and sculptures made entirely out of paper. Today, her practice focuses on experimentation using different techniques, disciplines and art styles.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (7 p.m. EDT / 4 p.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About Contemporary Voices

Meet innovative artists and scholars whose practice draws on textile materials, techniques or knowledge. This virtual series is presented in partnership with the Textile Society of America and is supported through the museum's Cynthia and Alton Boyer Fund for Education. Browse upcoming programs