Past

June 5, 2015 to February 6, 2016

On many levels, we get to know others—and ourselves—better through quilts.

Antique quilts provide windows into the past. And in understanding them, we gain greater insight into our own heritage.

Global quilts help us appreciate other cultures. From India to Indiana, domestic textiles like quilts reveal the diversity of the world’s people and remind us of our common humanity.

September 4, 2015 to May 25, 2016

“You can find joy in anything you do. It makes me feel so good to make a pretty quilt and have someone enjoy it.” 
—Nora Ezell

African-American quilts are a critical segment of quilt history. They reflect the diverse traditions that merge to form our American quilt heritage. African-American quilts come in every imaginable style: traditional patterns and original patterns, bold colors and subdued colors, and pieced quilts and story quilts. Like all American quilts, they vary from region to region, from era to era, and from person to person.

March 4, 2016 to May 25, 2016

“Everything begins with the fabric.”

Shimmering, floating, expanding, receding—Shizuko Kuroha’s quilts resonate with an ethereal energy. Antique Japanese indigo-dyed textiles give her work depth, suggesting the expanse of sky and cosmos. Traditional sarasa fabrics—block prints in a lighter palette of beiges, grays, reds, and indigos—provide counterpoint, creating synergy between dark and light, figure and ground, tangible and intangible.

February 16, 2016 to June 19, 2016

MAN-MADE: Contemporary Male Quilters examines the unique aesthetics and techniques that male artists bring to a craft long-associated with feminine arts and labor. Though a minority in the field of quilting, the number of male quilters is increasing worldwide. The eight exhibiting artists are part of a loose-knit community of male quilters whose quilts utilize striking contemporary imagery and compositions that navigate their personal interests often related to painting, film, and popular culture.

December 4, 2015 to August 21, 2016

The Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Collection of quilts and fabrics includes historically significant and dynamic American quilts and unique international pieces. Sara, a collector and maker, loved flowers and birds—particularly the ones printed on early-nineteenth century fabrics found in the quilts she and Byron collected.  

June 3, 2016 to September 28, 2016

Textiles are material evidence of history and culture and can tell us much about trade, religion, traditions, migration, communities, and individuals. The intangible characteristics—the uses, meanings, stories, skills and knowledge about production—associated with these textiles are often integral to the identity and cultural heritage of individuals and communities. 

July 1, 2016 to October 23, 2016

Every quilt tells a story. 

The Mountain Mist quilt patterns are at the heart of this story.

Beginning in 1929, the Stearns & Foster Company printed a free quilt pattern inside the paper wrapper of each roll of Mountain Mist batting. Some patterns were copied from old quilts and popular new designs of the day. Others were original modern Mountain Mist designs or inspired by current events.

The company had a quilt made from each new pattern. These quilts became the centerpiece of advertisements and the stars in quilt shows and department store windows.

August 26, 2016 to October 9, 2016

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, took more lives than any other single human-engineered event before on United States soil. News media broadcast the sights, sounds, and voices of the day, inscribing the tragedy into the memory of viewers. The human process of collectively mourning our losses and sharing our comfort began immediately.

November 4, 2016 to January 14, 2017

For more than three decades, Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes have purchased studio art quilts for their Quilts, Inc. corporate collection, mostly from exhibitions at the Houston International Quilt Festival. Founded by Karey Bresenhan in 1974, the festival quickly became a destination for quilters from around the world. 

October 7, 2016 to February 4, 2017

Fifty years ago, no one bothered pairing the adjective Amish with the noun quilt. Few people outside Amish settlements knew there was anything distinct about the types of patchwork bedcovers Amish families kept folded in cedar chests or displayed on their guest beds. Yet in the intervening years, Amish quilts have shifted in status from obscurity to sought-after artworks.

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