Gee's Bend

Today I took a break from my mad scrambling in the studio, and took my mother in law to the Walter's Art Museum to see the Gee's Bend, The Architecture of the Quilt exhibit.
Check out the online catalog at the Walter's site to see many of the quilts on display. It was an amazing show, and although I admit I haven't been too into quilting previously, I was blown away by the skill, history and dedication to this craft. The show features 45 original quilts created from the 1920's through 2005 by artists from the farming community of Gee's Bend in Alabama. Gee's Bend was founded by freed slaves after the Civil War and became a community on an almost totally isolated peninsula. The town's women developed a distinctive and bold quilting style based on traditional African American motifs, combined with American styles and reminiscent of modern art. The process and knowledge of the craft was passed down through generations of women; grandmother's, mother's, sister's and daughters all gathered together quilting. The quilts were not only utilitarian but also told stories, family histories and personal struggles. The women used only what was available to them, giving a second life to work cloths, worn sheets and fabric scraps. The exhibit is only open till the 26th, and if you go be sure to check out Lind Day Clark's photographs of the women of Gee's Bend as well.

No comments: