Red and White Quilts, 1860-1950, Eastern United States

As a young woman, Joanna Rose began collecting the red-and-white quilts which were made up and down the East coast of the United States from the mid-eighteenth century.  By the 1950’s and ’60’s, they were folded up in corners  of old houses and used for the most mundane purposes.

dsc00316_edited

Most of the quilts were made primarily after 1868 when red madder dye was replaced with a cheaper red aniline dye and red cotton became affordable along with patterns for this kind of quilting.

dsc00324

In March 2011 for her 80th birthday, Joanna Rose’s husband leased the Armory on Park Avenue, New York for six days to display the 650 quilts which she is donating to the American Folk Art Museum in NY.

dsc00151

Entry was free.  People came from near and far.

dsc00234

The quilts were mounted back to back on circular steel towers so that you felt enveloped in soft red and white light. 

 

dsc00354

dsc00344

dsc00123

dsc00145

dsc00148

dsc00184

dsc00210

dsc00221

dsc00225

dsc00224

dsc00237

dsc00262

dsc00258

dsc00277

dsc00318

dsc00299

dsc00248

dsc00322

dsc00323

dsc00337

dsc00339

dsc00354

Thousands of years of work and decades of community built stitch by stitch to functional and aesthetic ends.  Devotion and skill layered for one hundred and fifty years. 

To be there was the greatest pleasure.

4 thoughts on “Red and White Quilts, 1860-1950, Eastern United States

    1. This was one of the most memorable exhibitions I have ever seen. Within a week of the start of the show, someone presented themselves at a small Ahmedabad (India) textile and embellishment concern to ask if these quilts could be duplicated!

      Good news travels fast.

      Like

  1. Your varied postes are bringing new experiences, opening new worlds to those not lucky enough to be able to experience them on their own. You’re doing a fantastic job !

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s