Saturday, 30 March 2013

Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts * Brooklyn Museum, New York * Until 15 September 2013

March 15–September 15, 2013 This exhibition curated by Catherine Morris and located in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor, of the Brooklyn Museum showcases approximately thirty-five American and European quilt masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned decorative arts collection. Spanning two centuries of quilt making, the exhibition features superlative examples of the most iconic quilt designs and techniques, including the "Barn Raising" or "Log Cabin" style, the "Garden Basket" style, "Double Wedding Band" designs, the "Rose of Sharon" pattern, and the Amish "Sunshine and Shadow" style, as well as a variety of album quilts.

This cutting from the Pensacola Journal of 24 February 1907 is a wonderful document telling us that Girls of Today Eschew Qilting Box - Old-Fashioned Blocks Are Still in Vogue - and that home made quilting represents labour valued at $675 million!

The exhibition considers how issues common to the craft and handmade nature of quilting practices, such as anonymity, authorship, and collectivity, have affected the interpretation and reception of quilts. It also examines the historical designation of quilts as crafts rather than art objects and the shift in the late twentieth century, under the influence of modernism, toward a formalist appreciation of quilts as works of abstract art. This shift, and its implications for the way quilts have been seen and understood, will be explored by the quilts being presented both vertically—as they are now frequently shown in museums and galleries—and horizontally, as though on the beds for which they were originally designed. For more details, click here.

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