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Quilts and Textiles

Quilting Sisters:
African-American Quiltmaking in Michigan


Click here to see the quilts that are featured in this exhibition.

This exhibition of fifteen quilts from the Michigan State University Museum's extensive textile collections represents the diversity of quilting traditions found within historical and contemporary African-American communities in Michigan. From very conservative to highly innovative styles, the quilts reflect these themes: 1) records of patterns of migration and settlement; 2) expressions or documents of ethnic identity; 3) quilters as artists/quilts as art; 4) documents of personal, family, and community history; and 5) quilting traditions. The inclusion of photographic portraits of individual quilters taken by Kalamazoo-based artist Mary Whalen and excerpts from taped interviews make this exhibition a truly enriching experience.

This exhibition is eligible for funding through the Michigan Humanities Council's Arts and Humanities Touring Program. For more information, click here.

This exhibition has been displayed at the following sites: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; The Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI; Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson, MI; Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI; Port Huron Museum, Port Huron, MI; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, MI; The Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY; and Lapeer Center for the Arts, Lapeer, MI.

  Rental fee (8-week period): $2,500, plus shipping
  Number of pieces: 15
  Running feet required: 150 square feet
  Insurance Value: $30,000
  Security requirement: Lockable, limited access display area; trained guards or comparable protection system; provisions to prevent the public from touching objects; object handling by museum professionals; temperature and light controls; fire protection according to local ordinances.
  Additional materials available: Lectures: accompanying publication and related quilt publications for resale; press materials.

African American Quiltmaking in Michigan and other merchandise is available from the Michigan Traditional Arts Program Store.

Funding of the research, exhibition and publication was made possible by the financial and in-kind support of the Michigan State University Museum, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts/Folk Arts Program, and the MSU Office of the Provost.



PICTURED: Blue Jean Pockets Quilt, made by Essie Lee Robinson, 1990 .
Photograph by Mark Eifert, all rights reserved, Michigan State University Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

 


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