Road to Recovery - Pictorial Panel

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Pattern Names: Road to Recovery, New York World's Fair Quilt
Top By: Gasperik, Mary
Quilted By: Gasperik, Mary
Period: 1930-1949
Date: 1939 (contest was announced in Good Housekeeping, January 1939, on page 61).
Location Made: Chicago, Illinois (IL) United States
Project Name: Mary Gasperik Private Collection
Contributor: Gasperik Collection
ID Number: 066b
Layout Format: Vertical bands
Quilt Size: 78 inches x 95 inches
Fabrics: Cotton, Print, Solid/plain
Colors: Beige or Tan, Brown, Cream, Green
Construction: Hand Applique, Embroidery
Quilting Techniques: Hand quilting
Purpose or Function: Commemorative, Challenge or Contest entry, Artwork/wall hanging
Description: Here Gasperik showcases her command of appliqué, embroidery and quilting skills. Although the components are somewhat out of scale, the pictorial design has the feel of a naive folk art painting and represents her first original design.
Other Notes: Elsie Gasperik kept and maintained the quilts her mother left behind in the East Hazelcrest house after Mary Gasperik died, in May 1969. In about 1980 she and her siblings divided up 19 quilts. This quilt was among that group and Elsie selected it. Gasperik tended to keep those quilts which she and others regarded as her finest efforts. There is some indication that she asked her daughter to approach a museum about accepting them. It was after the ensuing rejection by The Art Institute of Chicago that Elsie decided the quilts should be divided among her siblings., As already stated, there is reason to believe Gasperik consulted a Paragon kit #01005 called Noah's Ark to fashion the winding road layout which is the guiding design of this quilt. It should be noted that Gasperik used a similar winding road to design her Indians children's quilts (of which she made 7). It should also be noted that Paragon kit #01005 included patterns for 2 ponies and some elephants. Gasperik added ponies of this same size and shape to the quilts the family calls "Farmer in the Dell" (#029 and #059). Those two quilts were made from a different Paragon kit (#01013) which did not include a horse/pony pattern unit. It also appears possible to Salser that the elephant in Noah's Ark could have provided the outline for 5 elephants Gasperik quilted into Indians quilt #056. Although Gasperik never made an actual 'Noah's Ark' quilt, she evidently made good use of that Paragon kit. Susan Salser has identified the probable pattern source for one of applique elements in this quilt, the pair of robins in the lower left. They were copied from illustrations by Fern Bisel Peat published in popular books about birds printed in the early 1930s.
Inscription: Quilted inscriptions bottom to top read: CHICAGO, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, culminating at the top with NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1939. Road signs pointing the way read: "Road to Recovery" and "New York City."
Related Items/Publications: Color photo (dated June 1968) of Mary Gasperik, daughter Elsie Krueger and great-grandson Andy Finn with this quilt. Gasperik is pointing to herself depicted as the woman sitting beside the Road to Recovery. Gasperik's story of this quilt, handwritten in Hungarian, collection of Kaen Krueger Finn. Handwritten and typed translations from Hungarian to English by Elsie Krueger of Gasperik's written explanation. Entitled "History of the Quilt 'Road to Recovery'" (private collection, Karen Krueger Finn). Swatch of red print fabric (used to make this quilt), from Gasperik's own fabric collection. It even bears maple leaf cutout shape. Private collection: Karen Krueger Finn. Color photograph of this quilt featured in “One American Dream Comes True” by Merikay Waldvogel, Quilters Newsletter, March 2008, p.49.

The Bird Book: Observations of Bird Life, by Frank North Shankland. Illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat, 1931, The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio. Book #672. Illustration called "Robins".

Bird Neighbors, No. 2129, copyright 1936, The Saalfield Pub. Co., Akron, Ohio. Illustrations by Fern Bisel Peat, "Robins".
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