Folk Art to Modern Art and Everything in Between: African American Quilt History
Quilting, practiced in this country since its foundation, has long been recognized as an important facet of history, and individual quilts have themselves been sought out as important historical documents. Quilts became in effect textile relics, with family fabrics used in various contexts over time. Thus, to look at a quilt is to see history. Scholarship over the last 30 years has shown an increased interest in quilts produced by African American men and women. The history of African American quilts that emerged, which privileged style over artist and ability was often divorced from its context. Numerous scholarly studies have demonstrated the influence of African American quilters on the history of American quilting. The lecture dispels long-held misperceptions of African American quilt aesthetics and the men and women who make them. The artistic mastery and diversity demonstrated in African American quilts will be discussed, including a broad range of styles and techniques.