Four Pilot Exhibition/Essays

Four initial Exhibition Essays were developed as test projects to develop a model for presenting additional thematic and contextual material about quilts in the Quilt Index. Many thanks to the guest curators, writers, researchers and project staff who contributed to these presentations.

gasperik quilts The Mary Gasperik Quilts
Salser, Susan and Waldvogel, Merikay

The Mary Gasperik Quilts exhibit contains an essay, thematic galleries, and extensive additional research on more than 80 quilts made in Chicago at the height of the quilt revival of the 1930s and 40s. Nearly all quilts are still owned by her descendants who generously supported this online project spearheaded by grand-daughter Susan Salser.

quilt Since Kentucky: Surveying State Quilts
Zegart, Shelly

In 1981 The Kentucky Quilt Project was the first large scale effort to document a state's quilts. Since then, groups in most states, as well as Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia have undertaken quilt surveys, thereby spawning the largest grassroots movement in the decorative arts in the last half of the 20th century. Project co-founder Shelly Zegart contributed this essay on documentation project history.

quilt Mary Schafer: Quilter, Quilt Collector, and Quilt Historian
Donaldson, Beth and Worrall, Mary

This on-line exhibit, curated by Beth Donaldson of MSU Museum, is the first virtual gallery created from the quilts in the Index. It serves as an example of how digital data in the Index can be used to construct exhibitions on a wide variety of themes. This example features Mary Schafer, a resident of Flushing, Michigan who is an outstanding quilter, a pioneer quilt historian and an educator.

quilt Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America
Worrall, Mary and MSUM staff (see credits)

This exhibition explores the history and art of Redwork--a style of needlework so-named because the technique usually entails using red thread to embroider designs onto a plain white background--that was especially popular in the United States from ca. 1875-1925. Redwork: A Textile Tradition in America explores the technological, social, and cultural factors that led to the development and dissemination of this art form and, in particular, how one cultural event-- in this case the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia-- can stimulate popular engagement in an art form. The exhibit draws on objects, ephemera, and archival materials from the Michigan State University Museum collections, in particular, the Deborah Harding Redwork Collection.


 
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