Davenport, IOWA (October 2012) — The Figge Art Museum is pleased to present Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum, a special exhibition of 27 priceless quilts from the collection of the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), opening November 3, 2012, and continuing through February 3, 2013.
Featured will be classic examples of many major quilt types from the beginning of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century, including wholecloth, whitework, pieced, appliqued and album quilts, and a selection of Amish and African American pieces, all drawn from the AFAM’s celebrated collection.
As curator Elizabeth V. Warren explains, “The present exhibition highlights the best of the best, quilts that represent the finest examples in a variety of techniques, time periods and regions.” The Figge will present an array of public programs and films in conjunction with the exhibition (see below).
The American tradition of quiltmaking dates back to colonial times when English immigrants sewed heavy woolen bedcovers for the New England winters. As a greater variety of fabrics and threads became available, and the practice of sewing bedcovers spread through the nation, quiltmaking evolved into a rich and diverse artistic tradition.
While countless quilts were used and washed into oblivion, many remarkable examples have survived, and are now admired both for their visual beauty and their extraordinary craftsmanship. The quilting tradition—using remnants of fabrics from clothing and other sewing projects, gathering together for the quilting bee, and adorning the bed with the finished quilt—has come to epitomize the domestic side of the “pioneer spirit” in America. Today, quilting is a vibrant art form practiced by an estimated 20 million men and women around the world.
Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York.
Quilters Appreciation Day
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Quilt Appraisals • 10 am-7 pm
Quilt appraiser Janette Dwyer will be available to conduct written and/or verbal appraisals. Each appraisal will take between 30-45 minutes and will cost $40 for a written appraisal (with a monetary value) or $25 for a verbal appraisal. A portion of the proceeds from each appraisal will be used to support Quilts programs. Visitors must schedule their appointment in advance—space is limited. Contact Heather Aaronson to schedule an appointment:
or 563.326.7804 x2045.
Warm Up with Quilts • 5-7 pm, Free
Drop in and create family-friendly art activities inspired by Quilts.
“Quilts as Art—or Not” • 7 pm
Presenter: Tim Schiffer
Figge’s Executive Director Tim Schiffer will discuss the myriad ways in which we look at quilts—from works of fine art to historical artifacts or crafts—and how quilts reflect the cultural context of the time and place in which they were made.
Saturday, December 1 • 10 am-5 pm
Drop in and create family-friendly art activities inspired by the Quilts exhibition! Free with membership or paid admission.
Celebrating Black History Month
10 am-5 pm Saturday, February 2, 2013
Contemporary and antique African American quilts will be featured in a one-day display in Studio 4.
Quilts: Masterworks from the American
Folk Art Museum Tour • 11 am
Join a Figge docent for a tour of the Quilts exhibition.
Quilting a Community • Noon-2 pm
Participants will use various materials to design a square for a quilt that will be assembled after the event as a community project.
Quilts Lecture • 2 pm
Presenter: Myrah Green, PhD
Dr. Myrah Green is the Distinguished Lecturer of Art at City College and has taught textile arts for 20 years, as well as all levels of quilt making for more than a decade. Her quilts can be found in many private collections including the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Green will be speaking about the Quilts exhibition, as well as her own experiences with quilting, textile arts and the history of African American quilts.
Documentary Film Series
Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics
Sunday, December 2 and Sunday, January 6 • 2:30-4 pm
Ep. 1: Quilts 101—Antique and Contemporary Quilts
Ep. 2: Quilts Bring History Alive
Ep. 3: The Quilt Marketplace
Sunday, December 9 and Sunday, January 13 • 2:30-4 pm
Ep. 4: What is Art?
Ep. 5: Gee’s Bend: “The Most Famous Quilts in America”
Ep. 6: How Quilts Have Been Viewed and Collected
Sunday, December 16 and Sunday, January 20 • 2:30-4 pm
Ep. 7: Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time
Ep. 8: Quilt Nation: 20,000,000 and Counting!
Ep. 9: Quilt Scholarship: Romance and Reality