Power, Passion, and Politics

Power, Passion, and Politics

Power, Passion, and Politics was curated by six high school students from Lincoln Public School’s Arts and Humanities Focus Program. Each member of the Politics and Government class, taught by John Clark, selected a politically- or socially-themed quilt from the permanent collection of the International Quilt Museum. Students were able to engage with the quilts in person before writing their labels. Each student composed text contextualizing and explaining the importance of the quilt they selected.

While only some of the students are able to vote, they each had something to say, much like the makers of their quilts.

The pop-up exhibition is on display in the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Conservation Work Room November 2-4, 2018.

Works in the Exhibition

Works in the Exhibition
Vietnam Era Signature Quilt

Vietnam Era Signature Quilt
Needle and Thread Arts Society
coordinated by Gen Pilgrim Guracar
Made in Mountain View, California
Cotton; Machine-pieced, hand-embroidered, tied
Gift of Needle and Thread Arts Society 2007.008.0001

This raffle quilt  raised money to rebuild a hospital that had been bombed in Vietnam by the United States during the war and is dedicated to people who have struggled for the cause of peace, social justice, and community. Signatures on the quilt include famous anti-war activists along with a diverse groups of scientists, feminists, politicians, writers, and Vietnam Veterans. The quilt attracted the attention and support of many proponents of peace and has inspired similar quilt projects for the purpose of bringing people together to bring an end to destructive and unnecessary wars.  
by Joanna Mack-Buriane

Barefoot and Pregnant

Barefoot and Pregnant
Jean Ray Laury
Dated 1987
Made in Clovis, California
Cotton, paint; machine-pieced, hand-quilted,
hand-stamped, hand-painted
Gift of Jean Ray Laury 2010.014.0005

 As a figure of speech, the antiquated phrase “barefoot and pregnant” narrowly defined the role of women in our society. It’s fitting that this quilt be displayed as we approach the 2018 election where issues important to women are being debated and voters will be choosing between two women in the Nebraska Senate race: Jane Raybould, the Democratic candidate, who supports funding for Planned Parenthood, and her opponent in the election, the Republican incumbent Deb Fischer, is opposed to Federal funding for the organization. The phrase “barefoot and pregnant” may seem like a phrase from long ago, but in many ways this quilt is an important reminder of how far we’ve come as a society in regards to the rights of women.
By Katherine Yoham

Women in Struggle Quilt

Women in Struggle Quilt
Needle and Thread Arts Society
coordinated by Gen Pilgrim Guracar
Dated 1983
Made in Mountain View, California
Cotton and mixed media; hand-pieced, hand-appliquéd, hand-embroidered, machine-pieced
Gift of Needle and Thread Arts Society 2007.008.0002

The quilt entitled Women in Struggle was made by the Needle Arts Society of California in the 1980s. The quilt project was led by Gen Guracar and was designed to take a feminist perspective in honoring the social and political struggles of all women, and declaring the alignment of American women with women from around the world. Demonstrating the global nature of the quilts message are quilt blocks honoring women from the Kurdish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hispanic communities. The sheer size of the quilt speaks to the fact that it has many stories to share and leaves the viewer with a strong sense of the magnitude of the subject it is addressing. The quilt makes these women’s stories visible and accessible, and provides them with a voice with which to be heard.
by  Anna Almeida Costa

The Bicentennial People's Quilt

The People’s Bicentennial Quilt
Needle and Thread Arts Society
coordinated by Gen Pilgrim Guracar
Made in Mountain View, California
Cotton and mixed media; hand-pieced,
hand-appliquéd, hand-embroidered, machine-pieced
Gift of Needle and Thread Arts Society 2007.008.0003

The Bicentennial People’s Quilt presents historic moments that relate to the ongoing struggle for “freedom” in America: the valiant efforts of peace activists staging protests, the fight against child labor, and writing of historical documents such as the Bill of Rights. The quilt offers a stark contrast to the typical, more traditionally patriotic Bicentennial quilts by highlighting and showcasing political struggles and victories throughout American history. This quilt is a timely reminder as voters go to the polls in November for issues related to expanding health care coverage to more Nebraskans and selecting leaders who have a desire to stand up for the rights of all the people, including women and immigrants coming to our country.
by Ariana Dahlenburg

crazy quilt

Crazy Quilt
Mary T.H. Willard
About 1889
Made in Evanston, Illnois
Wool; Foundation-pieced, hand-embroidered
Gift of Ardis and Robert James 1997.007.0318

Frances Willard was gifted this quilt in commemoration of her activism in the women's suffrage and temperance movements of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Frances Willard was an eloquent advocate for gender equality in positions of religious, educational, political leadership, and temperance. Willard was a vehement temperance supporter for many reasons, including her concerns regarding how to protect women and children from abusive consumers of alcohol - providing an eerie, eyebrow raising connection to recent debates taking place across our country’s controversy filled political landscape. 

by Eric Jensen

album quilt

Album Quilt
Possibly made by Raymond D. Fry
Dated 1918
Possibly made in Pennsylvania
Cotton; hand-embroidered
Gift of Ardis and Robert James 1997.007.0940

Some of the images present on this quilt are copied from political cartoons, while others are assumed to be original. Though most of the sayings are unreadable, one of the squares depicts George Washington, and another – most likely a reference to World War I - references how we must defeat the Germans and keep them at bay. The quilt’s anti-German sentiments are a stark reminder of how our nation has had a history of prejudices directed at foreigners, and could be seen as a reminder for us to carefully examine our own attitudes. 

by Ash Galloway

Works in the Exhibition
This exhibition was made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this exhibition through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.artscouncil.nebraska.gov for more information. Additional support provided by Friends of International Quilt Museum.
Event Date
Friday, November 2, 2018 to Sunday, November 4, 2018