Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Commemorative textile with portrait of Barack Obama

Catalog Data

Designed by:
Lola Faturoti, Nigerian American  Search this
Subject of:
President Barack Obama, American, born 1961  Search this
dye on silk (textile)
H x W: 49 1/16 × 45 11/16 in. (124.6 × 116 cm)
Place printed:
Korea, Asia
Place made:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Cultural Place:
West Africa, Africa
East Africa, Africa
This cloth by Lola Faturoti draws influence from the textile traditions of kanga and kente. Though not in traditional kente style, Faturoti has called the work “her version” of the kente cloth. During the candidacy and election of President Barack Obama, similar commemorative cloths were produced on the continent of Africa and around the world. The inspiration for this pattern was “Jubilation, Celebrating the History of the First Black President.” The designer chose chiffon because it represents “air,” ethereal and grace; the waves represent the ocean ushering joy, happiness and newness.
A length of commemorative printed textile by Lola Faturoti. The silk chiffon textile features images of President Barack Obama set against an alternating, wavy, stripe pattern in blue/white and red/yellow. Throughout the length of the textile are six (6) repeating portraits of Obama. Each portrait of Obama is outlined within an oval frame. The oval frame is white with text printed along the bottom half that reads [OLUWA GBA PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA] in Yoruba, which translates as "God Bless President Barack Obama." Underneath the oval is a graphic of a white banner, with text that reads [JANUARY 20. 2009]. A black and white graphic of Obama is depicted in the center of each oval, against a white and gray pebbled pattern background. The textile has a background design of a continuous blue/white and red/yellow pebbled pattern throughout. The pebble pattern is contained with thick black lines that create a wave-like movement in various directions. A white selvedge edge runs the length of the left edge of the textile, with color registrations printed on the top and bottom corners.
African American  Search this
Africa  Search this
African diaspora  Search this
Design  Search this
Fashion  Search this
Identity  Search this
Politics  Search this
Textile design  Search this
U.S. History, 2001-  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Catherine E. McKinley
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
Rights assessment and proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture