Saturday, 28 December 2013

Workt By Hand: Hidden Labour and Historical Quilts * The National Museum of Women in the Arts * Washington DC * Until 27 April 2014

This exhibition showcases 35 18th–20th-century quilts from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned decorative arts collection, presenting examples of iconic quilt designs and techniques while providing new insights into the different interpretive methods used to understand historical quilts. The NWMA Director, Susan Fisher writes: Quilt making was among the most significant forms of artistic production historically available to women. Teasing out social history from quilt history, the exhibition includes a remarkable early 19th-century patchwork Liberty Quilt (ca. 1830) attributed to Elizabeth Welsh of Virginia (below), which exemplifies how women created and disseminated iconic American revolutionary symbols. Women’s roles as both producers and consumers at the height of the Industrial Revolution are evidenced by the popular and highly publicized Crazy Quilt pattern made with affordable, vibrantly-colored textiles. The exhibition includes an exquisitely embroidered example created by Mary A. Stinson (ca.1880).

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