The Textile Museum Journal: Getting to Know Early Modern Kongo Textiles

Detail of a woven headdress
Chief or nobleman’s headdress (detail), Congo, 20th century. The Textile Museum Collection 1962.1.15. Textile Museum acquisition.


As a part of our online interview series for The Textile Museum Journal, contributing scholar Cécile Fromont will discuss Kongo textiles, which are celebrated as masterpieces of exquisite workmanship but garner limited attention in scholarship.

Dr. Fromont analyzes the state of research about Kongo textiles, brings to the fore the recent discoveries that illuminate some aspects of it, and reflects on the causes and consequences of the historiographic lacunae that surround them. In her interview, she will discuss the paradox posed by Kongo textiles and how getting to know Early Modern western Central African textiles builds connections between the fields of African art history, global studies of the early modern period and textile analysis.

About The Textile Museum Journal

Our peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal

About Cécile Fromont

Dr. Fromont is associate professor in the History of Art Department at Yale University, the author of The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo and an editor and contributor to Afro-Catholic Festivals in the Americas: Performance, Representation, and the Making of Black Atlantic Tradition.

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 program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Series

In this virtual series, authors who contributed to volume 48 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss new research on African textiles with guest editor Sarah Fee. Browse all interviews