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Designed by:
Barbara Nicholson, American  Search this
Worn by:
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, American, born 1936  Search this
Subject of:
Bennett College, American, founded 1873  Search this
synthetic fiber, cowrie shells, paint, metal zipper, tassels, and Velcro (TM)
H x W (flat): 56 1/2 × 39 1/2 in. (143.5 × 100.3 cm)
Place used:
Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina, United States, North and Central America
Cultural Place:
Ghana, West Africa, Africa
An academic robe in blue and gold from Bennett College worn by Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole with custom designs by Barbara Nicholson. The robe is made from a blue synthetic fabric with the hem and the central front opening trimmed in a wide blue, gold, and black woven striped tape. There are three (3) stripes of a black, gold, and blue woven tape with a scrollwork design on each sleeve. Adinkra symbols are hand painted in gold at the center front neck, on each cuff, and four (4) around the bottom. Excerpts from poems by Maya Angelou are also hand painted in gold around the bottom of the robe. The robe closes at the center front with a metal zipper trimmed with a gold tassel at the top and bottom of the zipper. The cuffs close with blue Velcro. A cowrie shell is hand sewn at the upper seam of the proper left cuff above the gold painted symbol. Two (2) additional cowrie shells are hand sewn along the center back pleat of the robe. A blue twisted cord extends from the center back neck and loops around a blue plastic button to secure an academic hood to the robe.
African American  Search this
African diaspora  Search this
Clothing and dress  Search this
Design  Search this
Education  Search this
Fashion design  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Johnnetta Betsch Cole
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Cultural Expressions
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 050
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture