Well.....that's the end of the pics from the show.
What I'm ending this blog with are excerpts from the program they had at the show. Lovely words from the Director, Curator, and owner.
Maria Ann Conelli
Executive Director, American Folk Art Museum
Stacy C. Hollander
Senior Curator, American Folk Art Museum
And from the owner, Joanna Semel Rose.......
These six hundred and fifty American quilts from three centuries (most nineteenth century) are not the prizewinners at fairs nor ones that have been passed down in families, cherished by several generations. They are, rather, ordinary coverings, their creators largely anonymous, their provenance obscure, not meant for company beds or "best use".
While the industrial revolution swept through England in the 1800s and American pioneers pushed over westward settling our continent, their women stayed at home raising children, cooking, cleaning, farming, and often piecing quilts from leftover scraps of material and socializing at quilting bees. Their imaginations took flight in the patterns and variations of traditional shapes. The quilter found her subjects in nature, in the Setting Sun and Feathered Star, in the Wild Goose Chase, the Garden Maze, in Lightning and the Melon Patch. In her kitchen she found models in Flower Pots and Fruit Baskets. Oak Leaf, Pine Tree, and Hickory Leaf were traditional New England themes drawn from the landscape. Burgoyne's Surrender came from battle plans in history books. Delectable Mountains derives its name from the passage in John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' which describes the promised land (in the settler's mind, the United States). Friendship Baskets is covered with moral and religious maxims; Drunkard's Path is an admonition. Tithing Reel was created to raise money for a Pennsylvania church.
When my husband asked what I would like for my eightieth birthday, I said, "Something I've not seen before and something that would be a gift for New York City." Seeing all of these quilts at the same moment would be the ideal gift. I did not set out to collect quilts. I have the instincts of a treasure hunter, not a collector. I had no clue how many red and white quilts I owned. They came up at flea markets in the 1950s and sold for five and ten dollars or were often used to wrap purchases. In the latter decades of the twentieth century came the realization of their originality and graphic beauty.
Shows at the American Folk Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art art and in smaller cities and towns across the U.S. rekindled an interest in quilts. My visual memory was tested because I never checked to see if I already possessed a particular pattern before acquiring it.
Happily, now, interest in this particular folk art has gone beyond mine, which is about pattern and social history. It includes scholarly studies of textiles, needlework, dyes, and political history. Museums have expanded and professionalized the field, but for me, the fun of finding a treasure, the pleasure of thinking of those nineteenth-century women not 'doomed to drudgery' but letting their minds and needles wander is sufficient.
It is my hope that the show will travel far and wide---inquiries have come from several continents.
As more and more technology expands the world, it narrows mine. But books and paintings and quilts tell me that imagination is alive and well.
I am grateful to the American Folk Art Museum, Thinc Design, the Park Avenue Armory, and my husband for making this wild idea a reality. I hope you enjoy the show. We had a great time assembling it!
Isn't she a lovely women!?! And what an amazing gift to us all!
And now I'm crying again! Sheesh! It was just so overwhelmingly wonderful, generous and inspiring!