Posts on culture and life


As part of our stewardship to the study of traditional craft, we have been on the publishing team for a number of books in the field. We have put together joint ventures with other presses and academic institutions, and have also been the sole publishers of our own works. A detailed compilation of these works will be available here soon. Vernacular Architecture By Henry Glassie The Potter's Art By Henry Glassie Prince Twins Seven-Seven By Henry Glassie The Stars of Ballymenone By Henry Glassie Dreams of my Brother By Material Culture

2020-01-07T13:16:05-05:00September 16th, 2013|Field|

Folk Art Legend Mr. Imagination Dies at 64

Mr. Imagination in the midst of his creations, including a bottlecap throne, suit, and figure. Renowned folk-artist and friend of Material Culture Gregory Warmack, known as Mr. Imagination, passed away on May 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 64. Spiritual and prolific as an artist and warm and thoughtful as a man, he saw the untapped possibilities in everyday or discarded objects, transforming them into spectacular works of art. At times whimsical and at times commanding, his pieces always have an individual force and an animating presence. Born in 1948, the third of nine children in a religious family on the South Side of Chicago, Warmack had an early connection to art. A self-taught artist, he honed his creativity through his teens and twenties by making jewelry, carvings, canes and hats that he would sell on the street and in local venues. But his life was forever changed in 1978, when he was mugged, shot and left to die on the street. While doctors fought to save him, he had a near-death experience in which he was taken back in time to see ancient civilizations, including images of African masks, Egyptian kings, and grand thrones. [...]

2020-01-07T13:16:04-05:00September 16th, 2013|Field|

Prince Twins Seven-Seven: In Memoriam

An article memorializing Prince Twins Seven-Seven, who spent time as Artist in Residence at Material Culture and passed away last June, appears in the spring 2012 issue of African Arts. We received permission from the author, Henry Glassie, to post it here to commemorate the anniversary of his death. A pdf of the full text, complete with original photos, is also available online. In Memoriam: Prince Twins Seven-Seven 1944–2011 by Henry Glassie To begin at the end is to begin in sorrow. Prince Twins Seven-Seven died in Ibadan on the morning of June 16, 2011. For seventy-two days he lay in the hospital, unable to move, communicating only by blinking his eyes. It was reported as a stroke, but whatever the cause, it was wrong—the wrong end for an ebullient man of constant action whose body was charged to the full. He beat rhythms on trees in childhood, danced on the road in youth; he whistled and sang while his hand darted and glanced, filling spontaneous shapes with intricate patterns bound for infinity. Prince was born on May 3, 1944, in Ijara, near the northeastern edge of Yorubaland. His father, Aitoyeje, was a Muslim from Ibadan. His mother, Mary, was a [...]

2022-01-13T12:44:39-05:00September 16th, 2013|Field|