The generosity of museum collection benefactors has always served the institutional community as inspiration for the next great exhibition. The works of art in Hillwood Art Museum’s Threads of Time: African Textiles from the Traditional to the Contemporary are part of just such a gift. This exhibition is the result of a long and fulfilling relationship between Dr. Gilbert and Mrs. Roda Graham and Hillwood Art Museum. During their time together, the Grahams amassed a collection of over 200 objects representing the many cultures of West Africa. While Gilbert developed a great affection for sculptural works, Mrs. Graham’s interest centered on the beauty and diversity of African textiles. It is these objects that now form the basis of Hillwood Art Museum’s extensive West African textile collection. I am grateful to collectors who, like the Grahams, continue to support the growth of the Museum’s Permanent Collection.No project of this magnitude would be possible without the help and support of Museum and University colleagues. Special thanks are due Dr. Lisa Aronson of Skidmore College, who served as the project scholar; Ms. Barbara Applegate, Assistant Director, for managing the production of this catalogue; and Ms. Kristy Caratzola, who, with great passion, has been a guiding force in the care and cataloguing of the Museum’s Permanent Collection. Finally, I would be remiss in not acknowledging the logistical support of Mr. Bill Schultz of Philmark Lithographics, who has been chief advisor on the production of this catalogue.

Barry Stern, Director