Lecture and Reception: “Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery”

 Lecture and Reception: “Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery” Matt Friedman, CEO, The Mekong Club Thursday, August 18, 7pm Free, Open to the Public, Refreshments Every five seconds, another person enters slavery somewhere in the world. It is estimated that there are over 45 million people in slavery today — more than any other time in history. One minute it might be a fifteen year old girl forced into prostitution, or a young boy forced onto a fishing boat to work 18 hours a day for years without coming to port. To make sense of this crime against humanity, Matt Friedman will offer a compressive update on the State-of-the-Art of human slavery. Friedman’s talk will explore the changing human trafficking paradigm; the relationship between human trafficking and slavery; global trends and patterns; new, emerging responses; evolving funding trends; what is working/not working; the role of the private sector; and what is really needed to win the fight. The presentation will offer a glimpse behind the curtain of this terrible human rights abuse — one that is much closer to home than we might expect. Presenter Matt Friedman Matt Friedman is an international human trafficking expert with more than 25 years of experience as a [...]

July 25th, 2016|Retail Store, Store News, Uncategorized|

Your Multicultural Wedding Menu at Material Culture

Your Multicultural Wedding Menu at Material Culture By Aliza Green, Chef, Baba Olga's Kitchen/Catering With our multicultural focus at Material Culture, where the staff comes from Serbia, Turkey, Tibet, Mexico, and Ukraine for starters, and the furnishings, artefacts, art, and rugs come from India, China, Ghana, Turkey, Indonesia, Thailand, Central and South America, and more, we are experts in successfully creating a pleasing multicultural environment. We welcome couples with diverse backgrounds who are looking to incorporate each of their own culinary and cultural traditions in their wedding celebration. Our weddings have included couples where one or the other half of the couple came from Russia, Trinidad, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Germany, many part of India, Korea, Turkey, Ireland, Italy, and all parts of the USA. Many of our menus incorporate elements from their cultural heritage and are happy to customize your menu to reflect your own unique cultural combo. Here we share some of the multicultural wedding menus we’ve prepared at Baba Olga’s: An Indian-American Vegan Wedding At the Bar Fennel roasted almonds; Ethiopian Berberé spiced pumpkin seeds Reception Middle Eastern Mezze: Balkan ayvar (roasted eggplant & pepper spread), Moroccan spiced carrot salad, mixed marinated olives, Catalan hazelnut [...]

July 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Vegan Menu Ideas

Vegan Menu Ideas at Material Culture Everyone Can Love By Aliza Green, Chef, Baba Olga's Kitchen/Catering Even your picky aunt and your “meat and potatoes” brother will love these deliciously vegan dishes! While I am not a vegan, I love vegetables, fruits, herbs, and especially legumes so that’s a great start. Because I thrive on culinary challenge, I welcome vegan clients. We’ve had the opportunity to cook vegan-friendly and all-vegan wedding dinners for quite a few bridal couples including one that works for an elephant rescue organization. Last year, I ran a series of cooking classes at Baba Olga’s based on recipes in my book, The Magic of Spice Blends. My vegan class sold out quickly to a very eager group of students. You can see the delicious Greek Tahini Cake in the Turkish coffee carrier tray. The series of bowls are filled with the ingredients to make Sri Lankan Coconut Cashew Vegetable Curry with homemade Sambar Podi spice mix. When you’re cooking vegan, the freshness of the spices, toasted and ground in small batches, makes all the difference. We use imported Sri Lankan true cinnamon with its delicately spicy, floral aroma for all our cooking and baking. Ancient Grains [...]

July 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Summer Nomad Sale, Now Through Labor Day!

July 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|

“Dreams of My Brother: Visions of Obama by Folk and Popular African Artists” Aug 6 – Sept 6

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release Just In Time For DNC, Visions of Obama by African Artists By Ellen Adair PHILADELPHIA, PA., July 20, 2016: In time for Philadelphia hosting the Democratic National Convention, Material Culture is presenting an exhibition titled “Dreams of My Brother: Visions of Obama by Folk and Popular African Artists.” In the tumult of this year’s presidential race, these views of our nation’s 44th President, collected by Material Culture in 2008 and 2009, serve as a reminder of our global interconnectedness, and demonstrate art’s role as a universal manifestation of humanity’s passion and hope. The exhibition, free and open to the public, will be on view at Material Culture from August 6 to September 6, 2016, from 11 AM to 5 PM. Read the Calendar/Exhibition Essay by George Jevremovic, November 4, 2009 George Jevremovic, the founder of Material Culture, relates that when he first traveled to West Africa in the 1990's in search of textiles and other artifacts, the most arresting pieces of art were in fact the ubiquitous painted signs of folk and popular artists. Dotted on roadsides, emblazoned on businesses, these painted works on canvas, board, metal or on the sides of buildings serve [...]

July 19th, 2016|Retail Store, Store News|

Auction: Ancient, Folk, Ethnographic Art and Furnishings, Sunday, August 7

Ancient, Folk, Ethnographic Art and Furnishings from the Collection of PRIMITIVE, Chicago Online* Auction: Sunday, August 7, 2016, 11AM EST
 Chicago Exhibition: August 5-6, 11AM-5PM *Also Accepting Phone and Absentee Bids PLEASE NOTE: All auction items are located in CHICAGO for preview and pick up at 130 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, IL 60661. Browse the Auction Catalog and Bid Live on these Portals:     Absentee Bid Form | Telephone Bid Form | Terms and Conditions (PDF) On August 7, 2016, Material Culture will conduct an auction of 555 items from the collection of Chicago-based gallery and world antique store PRIMITIVE. PRIMITIVE began as a purveyor of African art, but now its immersive museum-like showrooms carry items from all over the world, ranging from the ancient to the modern. The auction brings to the international market an array of the kinds of decorative and ethnographic arts and hand-crafted furnishings for which Primitive has become well-known. Pieces from Africa form a strong spine for the sale, with exceptional showings in sculpture, textile, painting, ceramic, rugs and more. All of these categories are also represented in Asian art, with treasures from China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, [...]

July 18th, 2016|Auctions|

Green Weddings

Green on Shades of Green Weddings By Aliza Green, Chef, Baba Olga's Kitchen/Catering In your dwelling, you may have undyed paper towels, maintain three bins for recycling in the kitchen, a water filter on your tap and no bottled water in your fridge. You buy your food through a local CSA (community supported agriculture), food coop, or weekly farmer’s market. Now it’s time for your wedding and you want to make it a greener celebration recognizing the importance of the health of the planet in a stylish wedding that reflects your unique personality. Green weddings minimize waste in every part of a wedding and help promote local growers, florists, wedding designers, and, most of all, organic or close to it, seasonal and locally-grown produce, MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fish and seafood, and antibiotic-free meats and poultry served in smaller portions to reduce waste and carbon-intensive meats. Gorgeous red heirloom turnips from Green Meadow Farm By choosing to spend your wedding budget on a green-friendly, locally-oriented wedding, you are taking the opportunity to support companies that do their best to incorporate social and environmental responsibility into the way they do business. With wedding costs averaging $30,000 to $40,000, [...]

July 6th, 2016|Uncategorized|


DREAMS OF MY BROTHER: VISIONS OF OBAMA BY FOLK AND POPULAR AFRICAN ARTISTS August 6 to September 6, 2016 A Retrospective Exhibition of Works Collected in Africa in 2008-2009 Calendar/Exhibition Essay by George Jevremovic, November 4, 2009 WELCOME PROOF THAT THERE IS NO such thing as "the art world," only worlds of art, are the legions of folk and popular artists in Africa, from Ghana to Kenya, Togo to Mali, whose painted works on board, canvas, metal or wall surface —seen daily by an audience of millions — provide visual branding and identity to thousands of small businesses and enterprises: beauty salons, tailors, cinemas, grocery stores; on and on. From free-standing ma and pa's to itinerant vendors, late-night cafes to trucks for hire, herbalists to hairstylists, their commissioned works serve the common, practical purpose of advertising anywhere: to stand out and be noticed. For a first-time visitor, it can be exhilarating and shocking: global and local brands, African and non-African celebrities and international icons; all appropriated and rendered in a mosaic of popular and homegrown styles, languages and regional dialects; all competing for the attention of the passerby. Many are signed and dated or feature a studio's logo, and every [...]

July 1st, 2016|Retail Store, Store News|


JOIN US THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND! Sat/Sun/Mon, 11am-5pm Tax Free Shopping* Free Delivery** Enjoy Baba Olga's Delicious Fare (Free) On July 4th, 1pm-3pm See Menu Below! Chilled Gazpacho Andaluz Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad Gold Potato & Green Chickpea Salad Barbecue Beef with Sweet & Hot Peppers in Brioche Bun Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Sharp Vermont Cheddar Moroccan Chicken B'Stilla with Cinnamon Almonds Salted Caramel Brownies Summer Fruit Macedonia with Spearmint Jamaican Rum Punch * MC will pay any applicable sales tax! **On purchases over $500 within 30 mile radius; otherwise deliveries are half price!

June 28th, 2016|Retail Store|

Summer Estates Auction | July 10

ONLINE* SUMMER ESTATES AUCTION 640 Estate Lots: Fine Art, Folk Art, Asian Arts, Antique Furnishings, Americana, Decorative Arts, Ancient & Ethnographic Arts, Oriental Rugs *Also accepting Phone and Absentee Bids Auction: Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10AM EST

 Exhibition: July 8-9, 11AM-5PM Browse the Auction Catalog and Bid Live on these Portals:     Absentee Bid Form | Telephone Bid Form | Terms and Conditions (PDF) Lot 263. Horse Figure, Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE-9 CE), Est. $5000-$10,000 Material Culture’s Summer Estates Sale enters the auction season with 638 lots that express the company’s view of the art world as borderless. Fine art encompasses painting, sculpture, prints and mixed media, along with an excellent selection of self-taught art. Chinese art is led by millenia-old Han Dynasty ceramic horse figures, and includes ceramics from across the centuries, paintings, antique furniture, and textiles. Other textiles come to the sale from around the world, from pre-Columbian textiles, to antique Central Asian pieces, to vintage West African cloths, to American quilts, and the sale offers a similarly international showing of folk and decorative art. The auction concludes with over 80 lots of antique and vintage rugs from North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Lot [...]

June 28th, 2016|Auctions|