Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alfred Shaheen at The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

This past weekend we went to see the new exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles • Hawaii’s Alfred Shaheen: Fabric to Fashion.  Growing up in Hawaii, I lived with the fifties' surge in the popularity of Aloha shirts.  When not in shorts and a T-shirt, we were wearing shorts and an Aloha shirt!  If it was a special occasion we wore our best, an Aloha shirt from Shaheen's.

This exhibit is a celebration of the legacy of textile designer and master fabric printer Alfred Shaheen, and the origins of the Hawaiian print and Aloha shirt industry. This is the first major retrospective exhibition of Hawaiian textiles and aloha wear manufactured by Alfred Shaheen on the island of Oahu over a 40-year period.  It is a smallish exhibit, but very well done and a lesson in what can be accomplished if one has vision and perseverance.  Well worth the hour or so to see it and you will come away with a heightened appreciation of beautiful, hand printed fabric, as well as Hawaiian art and culture.
For more information on the exhibition, please visit the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles website.  For a series of photos of the exhibition and more information on Alfred Shaheen, please visit the Shaheen website.

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