Behind the Scenes - December 2021

Steve Erickson, manager of design, preparation, and installation at the Stanley, has been busy in his shop designing mounts for some of the textiles in the museum’s deep and varied collection, including a Kuba-style skirt made of palm fiber. This skirt measures an impressive 174 inches in length. When worn, it was wrapped and draped around the body several times.

Preparing textiles for display frequently requires fabrication of custom mounts informed by careful consideration of the object’s condition and materials. This lightweight mount is made of foam core covered with an aluminized nylon and polyethylene barrier film that resists the passage of atmospheric gases and pollutants. The mount is then covered with muslin. The skirt is carefully attached to the mount with dressmaking pins whose colored heads blend seamlessly with the textile. Beveled wood cleats will secure the assembly to the wall. This display will be featured in the Stanley’s inaugural exhibition.


Textile skirt
Kuba style
Palm fiber
22 x 174 in. (55.88 x 441.96 cm)
The Stanley Collection of African Art, X1990.617
Unrecorded artist; Democratic Republic of the Congo