TEXTILES - American Quilts & Coverlets - 19th and 20th Century
Working with several major collectors, the Edward Thorp Gallery presents a survey of American quilts from 1810 to 1940. Examples included offer combinations of materials like wool, silk, and cotton. The works selected in this group were chosen for their visual impact and technical skill. Quilt making can be interpreted as a reflection on a society’s way of life, as well as an expression of religious commitment, political sentiment, or economic circumstance. These statements not only provide a means of examining international trade and new technological developments, but also the psychology of the society producing them. Spanning over a century, this exhibit covers a broad range of historic quilt types reflecting traditional and unique designs. Among them are samples of fine wool from the Amish and Mennonite communities of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which demonstrate a minimalist approach to compositions made in monumental scale. Compass Star, a star of nautical heritage, and Diamond in the Square depict monumental images which dispel the notion of a quilt as a compilation of small-scale and random scrap pieces. A more traditional approach is reflected with mid-19th century quilts such as Carpenters Wheel, pieced together from fine chintz cottons from the 1840s, and Triple Blossoms, layered in red and green appliqué from Pennsylvania c.1870s, both representations of iconic American quilt history. String Squares in a Grid, an example of text-based work dated 1920 from West Virginia, incorporates densely stitched names of families who came together to make the quilt, perhaps to raise money for a church or community purpose. The gallery is pleased to provide an opportunity to display these remarkable works in a fine art context. On view will be approximately 18 to 24 pieces.