It's a Blue World

Bhasha Chakrabarti, American, born 1991



Hand-quilted, used jeans and natural indigo dyed handloom fabric, with hand embroidery

Overall: 83 × 74 in. (210.8 × 188 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the William S. Rubin Fund and the Stephen and Constance Spahn '63 Acquisition Fund

© Bhasha Chakrabarti



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area

Textiles and Costumes

On view


Bhasha Chakrabarti’s It’s a Blue World represents the globalized histories of indigo, the etymology of which identifies the blue dye as a “product of India.” Major eighteenth-century indigo plantations were found in India and the American South; Chakrabarti maps these imperial cartographies in yellow thread—tracing ancient and colonial era indigo trade routes. The work itself is crafted with indigo sourced from throughout the world. There are patches of Adire textiles throughout the quilt that parallel the Adire textiles made by Nigerian women on view throughout this gallery.

The alternative side of the quilt is inspired by the Gees Bend quilters in Alabama. Chakrabarti spent time in Gees Bend in 2020 with China Pettway, Mary Ann Pettway, and numerous other esteemed quilters. The denim used is Chakrabarti’s collection of old jeans, a nod to not only practices of bricolage that Gees Bend quilters are known for, but also an homage to the revolutionary history of indigo, especially the 1739 Stono Rebellion in South Carolina and the 1859 Indigo Revolt (Nil Bidroha) in Bengal.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate

Course History

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Colleen Lannon, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

Writing 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Writing 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.


The artist, Bhasha Chakrabarti, New Haven, Connecticut; sold to present collection, 2022.

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