Between May 15 and November 6, 2011 it’s a particularly worthwhile destination for quilters as they are showing Corrine Riley’s collection of African American Quilts.
To quote from the Bold Expressions web page (since removed).
The exhibition showcases more than fifty quilts made throughout the American South between 1910 and the 1970s. Stunning color combinations and distinctively free patterns epitomize an artistic vision that is unique to the American folk art tradition.
Photography was permitted, without flash and here are some of the quilts on show. I’ve posted my sharpest photos but the quilts that inspired me the most were the ones that were unstructured and spontaneous, and to some eyes, imperfect. They weren’t symmetrical and didn’t seem ‘designed’ and this gave them a vibrancy that may be missing from a matchy, matchy rotary-cut, perfectly pieced quilt.
I hope to take a lesson from these African American quilters and learn to let go in my own quilt design, at least some of the time.
For the book-lovers amongst us, the curatorial notes recommend these titles:
- Signs & Symbols: African Images in African American Quilts, Maude Southwell Wahlman
- The Quilt Encyclopaedia Illustrated, Carter Houck
- Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum, Elizabeth V.Warren
- The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, Tinwood Books, Atlanta in association with The Fine Arts Museum of Houston.