Thandiwe Muriu, Kenyan, born 1990



Digital color photograph

10 / 10

Overall: 23 5/8 × 15 3/4 in. (60 × 40 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W'18 Fund

© Thandiwe Muriu



Place Made: Nairobi, Kenya, Africa


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


On view


The colorful, highly patterned space in which the women in Thandiwe Muriu’s photographs exist celebrates the textiles of East Africa while creating a surreal, futuristic realm, enhanced by the accessories Muriu creates for her models to wear. Made from common, discarded household items like bottle caps, these vibrant, stylish embellishments reveal beauty in the overlooked. Muriu’s images also contest the cultural biases of her country, which define aesthetic hierarchies based on skin tone, where darker women are considered less beautiful.

From the 2024 exhibition An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, curated by Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography

Course History

Art History 48.02, Histories of Photography, Katie Hornstein, Spring 2024

African and African American Studies 63.01, Sociology 71.01, Race Matters: Race Made to Matter, Trica Keaton, Spring 2024

Music 18.03, African and African American Studies 39.07, Verzuz: A History of Black Popular Music, Allie Martin, Spring 2024

Exhibition History

An Instant Out of Time: Shaping a Collection, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 20-July 21, 2024.


193 Gallery, Paris, France; sold to present collection, 2022.

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