The wearing of masks is a deeply rooted tradition in many cultures. They are worn in celebration, religious reasons, or ritual and often a signal that something out of the ordinary is happening.
According to the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, wearing a mask can help curb the spread of the Coronavirus. While wearing a mask makes recognition difficult, the textiles we choose to use as protection can provide clues about identity.
Sarah Anne Carter is the Visiting Executive Director, Center for Design and Material Culture, and visiting Assistant Professor of Design Studies at The School of Human Ecology University of Wisconsin-Madison. In this edition of Radio Chipstone, she tells contributor gianofer fields that while wearing masks in our daily lives may be daunting, how we choose to protect ourselves during this pandemic, allows us to think deeply about textiles.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guest:
Sarah Anne Carter is the Visiting Executive Director of the Center for Design and Material Culture and visiting Assistant Professor in Design Studies at The School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Learned to Make Sense of the Material World.
Image: Homemade Mask. Photo courtesy of Sarah Anne Carter.