For immediate release
Exhibit: “Paj Ntaub: Hmong Textiles from the Permanent Collection”
Date: April 10-Nov. 29, 2015
Place: James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Avenue, St. Paul MN 55102
Cost: Free with tour or $2 art gallery only admission. Tours cost $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students, $6 for children 6-17 and free for MNHS members.
Exhibit of Intricate Hmong Textiles Opens April 10 at James J. Hill House
(left to right: example of a story cloth, wall hanging by May Ying Xiong, child’s hat by Yao Lao)
View 60 highly colorful and intensely intricate pieces of Hmong textile art called paj ntaub or “flower cloth.” From a very early age, Hmong women learned the techniques of appliqué, reverse appliqué, cross stitch and embroidery from their mothers and grandmothers. While in Thai refugee camps in the 1970s the Hmong began adapting traditional paj ntaub to commercial objects that could be sold in America, including pillowcases, tablecloths, bedspreads, bookmarks, coin purses and clothing. They also created story cloths that recorded folktales and legends as well as contemporary scenes.
The exhibit features items created by women while living in the Thai refugee camps as well as by women who settled in St. Paul. Visitors can see fine examples from accomplished artists as well as various items that showcase how a traditional art form was adapted to commercial use.
The exhibit draws on the collection of Corrine Pearson who operated the Hmong Handwork consignment store in St. Paul from 1981 to 1999. After Pearson closed her store in 1999 she donated the remaining inventory and records to the Minnesota Historical Society. Labels will be in both Hmong and English. This exhibit runs April 10-Nov. 29, 2015.
“Paj Ntaub: Hmong Textiles from the Permanent Collection” is located in the art gallery and can be viewed free with a tour or separately with a $2 art gallery admission. Tours cost $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students, $6 for children 6-17 and free for MNHS members.
The exhibit is funded in part by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
About the James J. Hill House
Completed in 1891, the Gilded Age mansion was the residence of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway, and his family. The home is located one-half block west of the Cathedral of St. Paul at 240 Summit Avenue. It is open for tours year-round, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 651-297-2555.
The MNHS calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all MNHS programs, museums and historic sites.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.
The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.