Thank goodness it rained on the last Sunday in July, because instead of taking a walk that morning, I went to the MFA. It was the last day of a quilt show that it would have killed me to miss. There were about six rooms of beautiful traditional quilts, with a lot of text about the collectors and the quilters’ use of color. Another friend of mine took exception with how little was said about the MAKERS and how MUCH was said about the collectors. I spent almost all of my time looking at the quilts, so it wasn’t something I picked up on. Before I judge the exhibit on this basis, I would want to know what, if anything, they knew about the crafters. It’s very possible that in the case of many of the quilts, NOTHING was known.
a whole room of Amish quilts!
In what little text I did read, I noticed an repetitious emphasis on the use of color (we get it! complimentary colors look good together!!) and a real lack of information about the technical structure of the cloths. Gorgeous trapunto and stippling went without mention; one quilt supposedly had discharged cloth in it where I could find none.
feathered diamond. Penn. 1890’s
But! I still thoroughly enjoyed the show and firmly believe that quilts belong on the walls of our art museums — and not just the magnificent Gee’s Bend quilts, either.
All the photos were taken with my phone, so please indulge the lack of focus!
bold and dynamic use of plaid
An entire room of variations on the Log Cabin pattern was my favorite part of the show, not only because of the quilts themselves, but because the grouping revealed how profound an impact color/value choices have on design. All the quilts in the room used the very same pattern and yet were radically different from each other.
unbelievably small strips!
This was one of many beautiful nine patches in the exhibit. The show made me appreciate the uses of white when making patterns and colors sing.