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Media Alert: Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design

MEDIA ALERT

Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design

 

WHO:                    
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

WHAT:                  
Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design

WHERE:                
The Wright Museum, 315 West Warren Ave., Detroit MI 48201

WHEN:                
October 10, 2023 – March 31, 2024        

WHY:                     
Two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter is a living legend of storytelling and brings Afrofuturism to Detroit. Harnessing the power of visual communication, Carter creates costumes for generation-defining films like Black Panther, Amistad, Malcolm X, and Do the Right Thing. The new exhibition shows her devotion to retraining the eye to see beauty through costume design and telling stories that enrich the humanity of the Black experience - cementing her legacy as a preeminent voice and expert on period genres and Afro aesthetics.

Afrofuturism in Costume Design features unforgettable designs from nearly four decades of her career within an Afrofuturistic installation incorporating original artwork by artist Brandon Sadler, whose murals were prominently featured in Black Panther. Carter’s costume designs enable actors to fully immerse themselves in the roles of their lifetimes, transforming Oprah Winfrey into voting rights activist Annie Lee Cooper, Denzel Washington into Malcolm X, and Chadwick Boseman into the King of Wakanda.

Ruth E. Carter is a costume designer who works across genres and has brought her skills to more than 60 diverse film and television projects. Carter’s deep understanding of character, combined with her nuanced use of color and texture, has made her an essential storyteller committed to sharing the past, present, and future of Black culture.

AFROFUTURISM IN COSTUME DESIGN

OPENING DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2023

This exhibition features over 60 of the Two-Time Academy Award winning costume designer’s original designs from iconic films such as Black Panther, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing, and more.

FROM DO THE RIGHT THING TO AFRICAN KING
Explore the artistic richness of storytelling through costume design. Take Carter’s attention to detail that translates stories of race, politics, and culture and how her art adds dimensionality and flair to unforgettable characters brought to life by incredible actors. Experience the history making Afrofuturistic pieces that empower the female form, honor ancient cultures, and invoke a deep sense of representation unlike any other costumes experienced on screen.

MAKING OSCAR HISTORY
Carter became the first Black person to win in the costume design category also earning Marvel Studios their first Oscar. She is also the first Black woman to win two Oscars and the first costume designer two win an Oscar for a feature film and its sequel.

MORE ABOUT RUTH E. CARTER
Over three decades in film, television, and theater, Carter has earned seventy credits and collaborated with prolific directors, including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler. Carter’s costumes based on real and imaginative characters provide an arc to the narratives of African Americans from Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, What’s Love Got To Do With It, Amistad, The Butler, Marshall, Selma, Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Carter's outstanding costume design work has also been honored with Academy Award nominations for Malcolm X (1993) and Amistad (1998) and an Emmy nomination for the miniseries reboot of Roots (2016). The impact of her illustrious career in filmmaking has been recognized with the Costume Designers Guild's Career Achievement Award (2019) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2021). Recently, Carter authored the book The Art of Ruth E. Carter: Costuming Black History and the Afrofuture from Do the Right Thing to Black Panther and her history making journey was honored with an extraordinary mural at the Rebecca Johnson Elementary School in her hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kelly Miner, Marketing & Communications Manager
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren Avenue, Michigan 48201
kminer@thewright.org or call 313.494.5865