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From the early 1960s, Knobkerry traded in textiles and ethnographic objects, which Penn expertly transformed into coveted patchwork garments and arranged in elaborate and densely layered displays. In Penn’s hands, these items registered the local effects of globalization, including increased access to objects of international trade, eager markets for fashionable multiculturalism, and a conflicted relationship to American identity. At the same time, the store served as an important physical and social space for a network of Black intellectuals, musicians, and artists, and for a broader subset of cultural and subcultural figures passing through New York.
Author: Svetlana Kitto
Publisher: Sculpture Center, New York Consolidated
Size:6.5 × 9.45 in.
Publication images provided by Charles Benton.
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