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American Folk Art

A Century of African-American Quilts

Through May 2018

This exhibit showcases twelve colorful and stunning quilts, half of which have never before been seen by the public, spanning more than a century after 1875. The quilts of African Americans varied widely, depending on the date, location or community, the purpose for which the quilt was made, and the personal artistic vision of the quiltmaker. The bold designs and brilliant colors of the quilts featured in the exhibition speak to a longstanding cultural and artistic tradition within which the women designed and created their quilts.

 

Although none of the quilts in the exhibit was made during the era of slavery in America, several of the quilters represented in the exhibit were born into slavery and others descended from enslaved families. Each quiltmaker used the humble materials of fabric and thread to create a bedcover that was warm and practical as well as brilliant in color and artistry.

On view in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery
This exhibition was made possible thanks to gifts from Cindy and Sheldon Stone of Los Angeles, California, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation c/o Cynthia and Robert Milligan of Lincoln, Nebraska.