Dee Birnbaum Collection of Textiles and Jewelry
Amassed during her travels starting in the early 1970s, this collection of clothing and jewelry from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia contains items collected by Dee Birnbaum such as the silver Uzbek bridal headpiece pictured above (DB_0991_v02),that celebrate the unique textiles and jewelry styles that can be found in Middle Eastern bazaars. Many of the selections hold a priceless personal value to the collector, Dee, as some were gifts from families in the countries and regions being celebrated.
The textile collection illuminates how material culture collecting can have a lasting effect on the collectors’ life. This collection in general started out as a personal collection of Dee Birnbaum, who is currently an associate professor of business at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and was amassed from travels and exploration. The collection is now one of the largest collections of its type in both number and geographic scope in the country.
"Silver Nubian bracelet with filigree work and bells" Egytpt/Sudan (DB_2299a_v01)
The clothing in this collection includes shawls, tunics, and pants. There is also a large variety of jewelry that has been collected from small local bazaars during her personal travels. Some of the jewelry in the collection includes handcrafted bangles, jeweled necklaces as well as veil ornaments. This collection of over 2000 items is rare as it was not created as an academic pursuit but by personal means.