Tributes to Archbishop Desmond and Leah Tutu by Quilt Artists from South Africa and the United States
Edited by Marsha MacDowell and Aleia Brown
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Format: Paperback 54 color illus.
ISBN: 978-0-944-31126-4
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Ubuntutu: Life Legacies of Love and Action features quilts that pay tribute to the indelible contributions that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the first black Archbishop of Cape Town, and his wife Leah, have made in addressing human rights, advancing social justice issues, and advocating for peace in South Africa and around the world. Archbishop Tutu is one of the most well-known champions of antiapartheid in South Africa and is a vigorous campaigner for many human rights causes. Leah, a founder of the South African Domestic Workers Association, has worked alongside her husband to advocate for peace and social justice. These art pieces also honor the Tutus’ faith and the enduring love they have for each other. The word ubuntutu, coined by one of the quilt artists, combines the name Tutu with the Nguni word ubuntu, which can be translated as "human kindness." In the spirit of ubuntu, the quilts featured in this catalog remind us we are all interconnected.

This book, which accompanies an exhibition by the same name, is a collaborative project of the Michigan State University Museum, the Women of Color Quilters Network, and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

Author Bio

Marsha MacDowell is Professor and Curator of Folk Arts at the Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing, Michigan. She is Director of the Quilt Index, a digital repository of stories, images, and other data related to quilts from dispersed collections around the world.

Aleia Brown is Visiting Scholar with a joint appointment at the Michigan State University Museum and the Michigan State University History Department. Her writing, covering museums, civil rights, and gender, has appeared in Slate, TIMELINE Magazine, and other online platforms. She is the co-founder of two digital humanities projects: #BlkTwitterstorians and #MuseumsRespondtoFerguson.


“"The format of this whole project of Ubuntutu is spectacular in that it produced both a standalone book as well as an exhibition by the same name. True to the meaning of ubuntu it is a collaborative project that produced delicious fruit."”
 — Reading Religion

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Table of Contents

Preface / Marsha MacDowell and Aleia Brown
Quilting Imitates Ubuntu / Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ubuntutu Institutional Partner Statements
Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation
Michigan State University

Intentional Artmaking, Presentation, and Documentation
On Curating Ubuntutu / Marsha MacDowell and Aleia Brown
Quilted Tributes: The Art of Making the Desmond and Leah Tutu
Legacy Accessible / Marsha MacDowell and Aleia Brown

Quilt Tributes and Artist Statements
Lauren Austin
Elaine Barnard
Helga Beaumont
Nkosazana Betani
Dana Biddle
Wendy Burtenshaw
Bisa Butler
Marian Coakley
Marion Coleman
Carolyn Crump
Celia de Villiers and Kris van ‘t Hof
Merithy Eccles and Ann-Marie Tully
Deborah Fell
Kathryn Harmer Fox
Peggie Hartwell
Jenny Hermans
Jenny Hearn
Sharon Kerry-Harlan
Trienie Krugel
Cynthia Lockhart
Amita Makan
Madeline Marsburg
Tamar Mason
Dindga McCannon
Barbara Ann McCraw
Peggy Lucas McGowan
Annette McMaster
Ed Johnetta Miller
Barbara Murray
Gina Niederhumer
Pixieladies (Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki)
Sharon Ray
Morag Scodilis
Denise Sheridan
April Anue Shipp
Carole Gary Staples
Roy Starke
Jenny Svensson
Maxine S. Thomas
Elmine van der Walt
Bettie van Zyl
Diane Vandeyar
Hester Viles
Enid Viljoen
Sheila Walwyn
Janet Waring
Valerie C. White
Trish Williams

Art as Political Action
Stitching to Empower / Sandra Kriel
The Transformative Power of Love and Art / Sharon Gelman

Making Art, Making Democracy
What Tutu Helps Us to Remember / Rehana Odendaal
Visualising the Possibilities of Pan-African Aesthetics through Quilt Portraiture / Michael Wilson
Memorialisation of Struggle Heroes / Noel L Z So

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