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April 26, 2022

Work of Oscar-Winning Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter on Display in Museum of Pop Culture’s Upcoming Exhibition


Opening June 18

Experience this exhibition with any general admission museum ticket.

SEATTLE (April 26, 2022) - The Museum of Pop Culture today announced that its upcoming exhibition Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design will open in Seattle on June 18. Through more than 60 costumes by the Academy Award-winning designer (Marvel’s Black Panther), the exhibition illustrates her vision and the in-depth process she uses for each project. On display will be costumes from Black Panther, Roots, Do the Right Thing, Selma, Malcolm X, and more. For tickets and information, visit

Ruth Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design features unforgettable designs from nearly four decades of Carter’s career within an Afrofuturistic installation incorporating original artwork by artist Brandon Sadler. Sadler's murals were prominently featured in Black Panther. Carter’s costume designs enable actors to fully immerse themselves in the roles of their lifetimes, transforming Oprah Winfrey into voting rights activist Annie Lee Cooper, Denzel Washington into Malcolm X, and Chadwick Boseman into T’Challa, the King of Wakanda.

In addition to Carter’s costumes for Winfrey, Washington, and Boseman, the exhibition also features garments worn by luminaries such as Angela Bassett, Eddie Murphy, Lupita Nyong’o, Rosie Perez, and Forest Whitaker, demonstrating the varied work Carter brings to the screen.

Ruth E. Carter is an expert storyteller who harnesses the power of visual communication to share narratives of culture, race, and politics. Creating costumes for generation-defining films like Black PantherSelma, and Do the Right Thing, she brings vibrancy, nuance, color, and texture to each of her culture-shifting characters.

Along with the costumes are interactive experiences including an immersive “Warrior Falls” photo opportunity, recreating the iconic setting from Black Panther. Other exhibition highlights include:

  • 55 costumes designed by Ruth E. Carter from her personal collection with an additional 10 costumes from Black Panther and four costumes from Coming 2 America
  • Original drawings, paintings, photographs, sketches, and mood boards

Ruth Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design will open to the public June 18, 2022, with an exclusive member preview day on Friday, June 17, and an after-hours, public opening event Friday evening. More information and to sign up for updates at

MoPOP is a leading-edge nonprofit museum in Seattle, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. With a mission to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities, MoPOP reaches multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, educational programs and community partnerships. At MoPOP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the pop culture of our time. 


Ruth E. Carter is the 2019 Academy Award winner in Costume Design for Marvel’s Black Panther, making history as the first African American to win in the category.

Carter wows audiences and dazzles critics alike with Afrofuturistic looks that empower the female form and turn a superhero into an African King. Inspired by African tribal wear, Carter fuses traditional and contemporary while incorporating technology to deliver fashion and function, cementing her as one of the preeminent voices and experts on Afro aesthetics.

In a career spanning more than three decades in theater, cinema, and television, Carter has collaborated with some of the most prolific directors including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, the late John Singleton, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Coogler.

Carter’s depth of artistry, flowing together with her creative instincts, passion for culture and history, empathy for people, capacity for research, eye for detail, and ability to deliver the director’s vision, while infusing her own signature, makes her one of the most sought after and renowned costume designers in the world.

As a collection, Carter’s costumes, based on real and imaginative characters, provide an arc to the stories of African Americans so intriguing and unforgettable they influence music, fashion, culture, art, and film-making.

Carter has more than forty film credits, and has earned two Academy Award nominations for Malcolm X (1993) and Amistad (1998), and an Emmy nomination for the reboot of the television mini-series Roots (2016). Carter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021, becoming only the second costume designer to receive this honor.

Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design was co-curated by Rafael Gomes, director of fashion exhibitions, and Christina Frank, assistant director of fashion exhibitions, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, in collaboration with guest curator Julia Long.

Please find available exhibition photography and video here >>

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MoPOP, Marketing Communications