Since coming to prominence in the 1960s, demand and interest in tribal art has grown steadily. The 27th annual San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show (SFTTA) is one of the few places these disappearing arts are made available to the public.
“Everything showcased at the SFTTA is museum-quality,” said Liz Lees, show producer. “The art and antiques we have available for purchase at our event are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also historically and culturally significant. Many of these techniques are fading away as more remote societies modernize.”
This year’s special exhibition, “Saami and Kantha—The fabled stitched quilts of Sind and Bengal,” will showcase the finest examples of this quilting tradition, the Ralli quilts made by the Saami, a caste of beggars from the deserts of Sind in Pakistan and the Kanthas quilts from West Bengal, India and Bangladesh.
Made from recycled materials such as disused clothing or old cloth, the practice of making these quilts has evolved over centuries. The rare and intricate weavings range from depicting bold, abstract patterns to figurative representations of village life. John Gillow, textile folk art specialist, has curated the exhibition.
Other exhibitor highlights include: the Moroccan Berber necklace with prayer box from the Singkaing Gallery, a 19th century birdcage from Sutterfield Tribal Art, the Bodhisattva statue from the Dalton Somare Gallery and the Luo Tribe of Kenya’s shield from Patrick & Ondine Mestdagh Galerie d’art.
The SFTTA show will open with a preview gala on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. benefiting the galleries: Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and the textiles galleries of the de Young Museum. To purchase tickets for the Opening Night benefit, please call (415) 750-3518 or email.
General admission is $15. This event is open to the public on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9, 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 10, 11:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. For more information, please call (310) 455-2886, or click here.