Applique Quilt: Flowers pattern
c. 1935. Found in New York City
Cotton, plain weave. 74"x72"


Quilts: A Window to the Past
A Century of American Quilting

At once traditional and vital, quilting has always been more than just a practical and thrifty craft. Windows presents 27 spectacular antique quilts from the 1830's to the 1930's with visual documentation, quotes and sewing ephemera to weave a story about women's lives and art.
Curator Victoria Hoffman shows how fabrics, colors-even stitching styles-relate to U.S. cultural and social history. On view are appliqué and pieced formats, including signed Album and Sampler quilts, Friendship quilts and other styles and patterns. Also represented are Crazy Quilts, inspired by Japanese decorative arts and String-pieced, Postage Stamp and Charm quilts, which all made use of small fabric scraps.
The exhibition reveals how the Colonial Revival at the end of the nineteenth century and the Great Depression of the 1930's renewed the popularity of quilts. Early twentieth-century books, magazines and published patterns spread information about quilting at a time when decorating with quilts was a form of national pride. A Window to the Past includes contemporary quilts, affirming the current vitality of this art form.

Assistance and support for Quilts: A Window to the Past have been generously provided by S. Rabbit Goody. Exhibition tour management is provided by Thomas & Associates, Inc., New York.