Antwon Maxwell Photography

May 1 – November 14, 2021

Now on view! Time tickets preferred. 


New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (NBAM), in collaboration with the New Bedford Historical Society, New Bedford Free Public Library, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, UMass Dartmouth CVPA, and Massachusetts-based archivists Rememory Consulting,  is proud to present Uncommon Threads: The Works of Ruth E. Carter, a solo exhibition celebrating Massachusetts-born Ruth E. Carter’s 30-year career as an Academy Award-winning costume designer. 

This retrospective will open at NBAM on May 1, 2021, and run through November 14, 2021; featuring costumes from Dolemite Is My Name (2019), Roots (2016 reboot), Selma (2014), Do The Right Thing (1989), and Malcolm X (1992). The exhibit will follow Carter’s creative process and include sketches, mood boards, iconic costumes, and other ephemera from her Los Angeles studio.

Learn More

Want to do a deep dive into the Ruth Carter exhibition? Check out our digital catalogs for details about Ruth and her costumes.










support carter-themed engagement in the community

Let’s get moving and take learning outdoors this summer and fall! NBAM and our partners need your help to bring free programming that is engaging, creative, and meaningful to the community.  PLEASE GIVE TODAY

about Ruth E. Carter

Ruth E. Carter was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. A Hampton University graduate, Carter began her career as a costume apprentice for the Santa Fe Opera. She moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s and began her collaborative relationship with legendary director Spike Lee. Since then, Carter has worked with Steven Spielberg and Ryan Coogler and has dressed thousands of actors, including Denzel WashingtonAngela BassettJane Fonda, and Oprah Winfrey.

In 2019, Carter became the first African-American to win an Academy Award in the Best Costume Design category for Black Panther. Her costumes tell stories so intriguing and memorable that they influence music, fashion, culture, and film-making and help us to better understand ourselves and our history.


Partner Organizations
New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (NBAM)
New Bedford Historical Society
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
New Bedford Free Public Library
UMass Dartmouth CVPA

Jamie R. Uretsky, NBAM Curator
Julia Zimmerman, NBAM Curatorial Assistant
Jane Gleason, NBAM
Lee Blake, New Bedford Historical Society
Carl J. Cruz, New Bedford Historical Society
Alexandra Copeland, New Bedford Free Public Library Curator
Jes Neal, Rememory Consulting
Micha Broadnax, Rememory Consulting
Janine Da Silva,  New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
Rufai Shardow, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
Lindsay Compton, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
Julia Long, Ruth E. Carter Design Curator 

Contributing Artists
Fitzcarmel M. LaMarre
Deborah Macy

Darnel Staley

Ziddi Msangi, CVPA
Marquez-Chaves, CVPA
Sarah Dorman, CVPA
Naeem Wilson, CVPA
Peiqi Jia, CVPA
Mike Venuti, CVPA
Kat Gunther, NBAM
Jamie R. Uretsky, NBAM

Michelle Borges, NBAM, Education Programs Manager
Bethany Coito, New Bedford Free Public Library
Samia Walker,  3rd EyE Youth Empowerment
Alison Wells, Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery
Lindsay Compton,  New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
Olf Leyindamouyaka, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park


Thank you for helping us bring Ruth to New Bedford! We can’t make exhibitions happen without your support – and that’s the truth, Ruth!

There’s still time to support this exhibition!  DONATE TODAY

A special thank you to our Lead Sponsors Fiber Optic Center

That’s Truth, Ruth!

Island Foundation

Mahoney Donnelly Associates

Price of Glory

Bob and Jane Duff-Gleason

Boston Arts Academy Foundation


BayCoast Bank

Bristol County Savings Bank Charitable Fund

Allan and Priscilla Ditchfield

Ralph Eustis

Philip Racicot

Jonathan and Elizabeth Howland

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

The Black Whale

Celia’s Boutique

Circa Vintage Wear

Humphrey, Covill  & Coleman

Irene and Norm Buck

Deborah Ehrens

Victor Mailey and Bettina Borders

Do the Right Thing

Caroline Conzatti

Cynthia Cummings

Kathy Dinneen

Leslie Lawrence and Ron Weingartner

Margaret and Michael Nash

Joseph Nauman

Pimental Contractors

Denise Porche

Maria A. Rosario

Eve Rounds

Margo Saulnier

Sherman Home Inspections, LLC

Janine da Silva

Jill Simoes

Blair Walker

Christina Connelly

Slocum Studios

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Raena Camacho

Lindsay Carter-Monteiro

Deborah Coolidge

Robert French

Olivia Melo

Susan Perry

Stasia Powers

Susan Sargent

Jen Smith

Donna Cordeiro

Margaret Dery