Star Arcturus-Century of Progress - Detail


Quilt Index Record: 48-7C-14

a Essay Historical Background

description
This quilt, which is dated 1934, shows how quickly Mary developed her quilting skills, when compared with quilt #041 ("Double Trellis") made in 1933. Once she discovered quilts in 1933, making quilts became her life's passion. The Chicago Tribune published this block in the Nancy Cabot quilt column after the Fair ended. The Moon Face embroidery pattern was published by another Chicago company.
essay
Made after the World's Fair, this quilt honors the Century of Progress Exposition held in her hometown in 1933-34. The rocket and star pattern named Star Arcturus refers to the distant star 40 light years away. Fair officials reminded Chicagoans that the light coming from the star began its journey in 1893 when Chicago's first world's fair was held. Light transmitted from the star Arcturus was not only used to illuminate the opening of the fair, it was used to turn on the exposition's myriad lights each night. The star became a World's Fair logo adorning many souvenirs. Mary Gasperik chose an especially potent symbol of the fair to use in this early and creative quilt-making project. Although the Cabot pattern provides the basis for her design, it is Gasperik's own individual choices (the colors) and additions (the corner moons) which make this an especially artful and expressive quilt. For her masterpiece quilt "Colonial Quilting Bee" (#034) made 16 years later, she resurrected this pattern when she used the rocket-stars on the miniature quilt at the center of the quilt frame and on a miniature quilt placed on the lap of one of the quilters. In doing so, she was not only referencing her own earlier quilt, but also the occasion which ignited her passion for making quilts - the Chicago World's Fair of 1933.

Administrative Fields

InstNameF003
Gasperik Collection
InstProjNameF003a
Mary Gasperik Private Collection
InstInvContrNumF004
048b

Information source fields

IdentPersonF006
Author/researcher
Blood relative of quiltmaker
Quilt owner
RelnQuiltF007
Quilt owner
IfQownerF007b
Inherited
IfOtherF007d
Grand-daughter Susan Salser began this research effort in 1991, after she and her two sisters divided up the quilts which belonged to their mother (Elsie Gasperik Krueger) who died in 1988. Her ongoing research has been fruitful and interesting.

Overall Quilt Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
QuiltTitleF009
Star Arcturus-Century of Progress - Detail
OwnerNameF010
Star Arcturus-Century of Progress
BrackmanF011a
3713
OverallWidthF12a
77 inches
OverallLengthF012b
91 inches
ShapeEdgeF013
Scalloped
ShapeCornersF013b
Rounded
PredomColorsF014
Blue or Navy
Orange
Yellow
OverallColorF14b
Bright or primary colors
OverCondF015
Very good/almost new
TypeInscripF019
Message
ContInscripF020
"Star Arcturus/A CENTURY OF PROGPESS 1934 M.G."
DateInscripF020a
1934
MethodInscripF021
Embroidery
Other
OtherMethodInscripF021a
English was not Mary's native tongue. She embroidered "PROGPESS" instead of "PROGRESS"
LocInscripF022
on back
DateQuiltF023
1930-1949
DateBegunF023a
1933-1934
DateFinishF023b
1934
OtherExDateF023d
1934
OtherDateF023e
Merikay Waldvogel
DateInfoF023f
Date based on Nancy Cabot quilt pattern by the same name published on Oct 22, 1933 in the Chicago Tribune.

Quilt top description

LayFormatF024
Block pattern
SubjQuiltF025
Star Arcturus, Chicago World's Fair
NumBlockF026
30
SizeBlockF027
13 x 13
ArrangeBlockF028
Straight
SpacingF029
Other
OtherSpaceF029a
Star Block alternates with a blue block with five small stars appliqued to it.
NumBlockPatF030
2
BlockStyleF030a
Squares
NumBordersF033
One scalloped border.
BordDescF034
Scallops with appliqued 3-color fans alternate with plain, pointy, scallops. Orange moons with embroidered faces are appliqued into the four corners of the quilt.

Quilt top materials and construction

FiberTypesF035
Cotton
FabPrintF037
Solid/plain
ConstrucF038
Machine Piecing
ConstrucF038b
Hand Applique
EmbellTechF038f
Yes
ConstrucF038g
Embroidery
EmbMatF039
Cotton thread

Quilt back materials and construction

FabFiberTypesF040
Cotton
ColorBackingF040b
Blue or Navy
NumPiecesF042
3
WidthPiecesF042a
33 inches, 33 inches, 11 inches
DescBackF043
Solid/plain

Quilt binding

MatUsedF044
Cotton
FabStrucF045
Plain weave
ConstrucBindF046
Bias grain
Machine sewn
WidthBindF047
less than a half inch

Quilt batting

MatUsedF048
Cotton

Quilting description

QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting
ThrTypeF049a
cotton
ThrColorF049b
off-white
NumStitchedF050
11
NumStitchF051
11
KnotsF051b
no
DesignF052a
Echo
In-the-ditch
Outline
DesignF052b
Wreaths
DesignF052c
None

Quilt notes and observations

FeaturesF053
In this quilt, the backing fabric is the same color as the front. It is an unusual choice for Mary Gasperik. Since it is one of her earliest quilts, one wonders if it was personal choice or advice from the Tuley Park Quilt Club.

Quiltmaker identification

QuiltTopF054
Gasperik, Mary
QuiltedByF055
Gasperik, Mary

Quilt provenance

LocMadeF057a
Chicago
ProvCountyF057b
Cook County
ProvStateF057d
Illinois (IL)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
AcquiredF058
Inheritance
ProvenanceF058a
In 1988, Elsie Krueger's three daughters divided up the quilts left to them after Elsie's death. Susan Salser selected Star Arcturus in the fourth round. At the time, the quilt was under-appreciated by all three of them!
QuiltHistF059

Quilt purposes uses

ReasonsF060
Commemorative
QDesignF060b
Unknown
PresUseF062
Exhibit
Keepsake/memento
OthPresUseF062a
Mary's grandchildren regard her quilts as a unique collection to be preserved and appreciated.

Quilt design and materials sources

SourceMatF063
Purchased new
TopSourceF064
Commercial/Published source: Newspaper
Other
OthTopSourceF064a
Source of embroidered moon faces in the four corners is "Modern Hand Embroidery Patterns: The Wonder Package" offered by Donald F. Duncan Inc., a Chicago company, in 1933.
CommSourceF064b
Nancy Cabot/Chicago Tribune: Star Arcturus Century of Progress
PattSourceF065
Commercial pattern
Original to maker
OthPattSourceF065a
CommSourceF065b
QuiltING patterns Q403 and Q504 (Hubert Ver Mehren Home Art Studio) were used in the blocks. Q403 (side portion only) was used in border. Q504 was transformed and altered for use as an applique two-color pieced star.
AddNotesF066
A clipping of the original October 22, 1933 Nancy Cabot newspaper column which presented the Century of Progress rocket-star pattern is pasted into Mary Gasperik's album of quilt patterns.

Exhibition history of quilt

ExhibitListF067a
Probably exhibited at the third Detroit News Quilt Show October 18-20, 1935, the first Detroit show Mary Gasperik sent quilts to and attended. Probably exhibited in at least one of the annual Tuley Park quilt shows between 1936 and 1949. We have an undated exhibit tag reading "Arcturus Star Quilt by Mrs. M. Gasperik". -- "The Quilts of Mary Gasperik," Ann Anastasio, Curator, Livermore Historic Site, Ravenswood, CA, March 14-15, 1992. -- This quilt was part of a travelling exhibition of 30 quilts entitled “Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World’s Fair” curated by Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. The Knoxville Museum of Art and Smith-Kramer, Inc. coordinated the travelling exhibition to the following sites: Jan 7-Feb 7, 1994 Palm Beach, FL (The Society of the Four Arts); Mar 20-July 17, 1994 Lexington, MA (Museum of Our National Heritage); Aug 7–Sep 25, 1994 Midland, MI (Midland Center for the Arts); Oct 16–Dec 4, 1994 Logan, KS (Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum; Dec 18, 1994–Apr 23, 1995 Chicago, IL (Chicago Cultural Center); May 10-Jul 2, 1995 Grosse Pointe Shores, MI (Edsel and Eleanor Ford House); Jul 23-Sep 10, 1995 Los Angeles, CA (Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum); Oct 1-Nov 19, 1995 Janesville, WI (Rock County Historical Society); Dec 10, 1995-Jan 28, 1996 Neenah, WI (Bergstrom-Mahler Museum); Feb 18-Apr 8, 1996 Lexington, KY (University of Kentucky Art Museum); May 3-July 24, 1996 Knoxville, TN (Knoxville Museum of Art). -- "1933 Chicago World's Fair Quilts" at the Spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago (Rosemont), April 11-13, 2003, curated by Merikay Waldvogel.

Quilt ownership and contact info

OwnershipF082
Private
OwnerNameF082a
Susan Krueger Salser
OwnerCountryF086b
United States
SourceInfoF088b
Susan Krueger Salser
DateObtainedF088c
December 2007

Other source materials available for this quilt

RelItemsF088a
"Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair" by Barbara Brackman and Merikay Waldvogel, published in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine (July/August 1994), offered readers a pattern for making the moon Mary Gasperik put in the four corners of her Star Arcturus quilt. "The 1933 World's Fair Quilt Contest and its Aftermath" in Piecework magazine (July/August 1995), pp. 71-77, presented a color photograph of the quilt and a pattern for making a bib using the star and rocket motif. Family photos show this quilt, and other Gasperik quilts, airing on a clothesline. New York Times, May 30, 1930 pg. 17 " Pittsburgh, May 29. Arcturus, the star which sent the rays that officially opened Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition, today received a steady job as lamplighter for the fair. Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company announced that each night at exactly 30 seconds past 10:14 o'clock (Eastern Daylight Time) rays from "Arky" - as the star is affectionately known - will be transmitted from four observatories to Chicago to turn on the exposition's myriad lights."

Quiltmaker personal information

MaidenF097b
Mihalovits, Maria
GenderF098
Female
BirthDateF099
01/25/1888
MarriageF099b
11/18/1906
DeathF100
05/25/1969
EthnicF101
Hungarian
EdBkgdF102
Elementary School
BirthplaceCountryF098d
Hungary
EnviroF104c
Rural

Quiltmaker address

StAddressF105
9314 Cottage Grove
CountyF106
Cook
CityF106a
Chicago
StateF107
Illinois (IL)
CountryF108
United States

Quiltmaker Family history

FatherNameF109
Mihalovits, Istvan
BplaceF109a
Hungary
EthBkgrndF110
Hungarian
MotherNameF111
Mihalovits, Vidoszava
BplaceF111a
Hungary
EthBkgrndF112
Hungarian
SpouseF113
Gasperik, Stephen
EthBkgrndF114
Hungarian
OccupationF115
Milk Dealer/Grocery Store Owner/Butcher
NoChildF116
3
NoFemF116a
1 (Elsie 1909-1988)
NoMaleF116b
2 (Elmer and Stephen)

Quiltmaker personal quilting history

LearnedToQuiltF117
From guild or club member
Self-Taught
WhenQuiltF118
Age 40-49
WhyQuiltF119
Pleasure
Other
OtherF119a
She made quilts to exhibit in shows and contests. Later in life, she made quilts especially for her children and grandchildren. In short, she made quilts because it was her life passion and her greatest talent.

Quiltmakers Membership in quilting group

NameGroupF120
Tuley Park Quilt Club, Detroit News Quilt Club Conducted by Edith Crumb, editor of the Home Page.
LocGroupF121
Tuley Park is the Chicago public park closest to Mary's residence on Cottage Grove. Readers of The Detroit News quilt column were from far corners of the United States. They "met" through the quilt column in the Detroit News.
SpecialGroupF122
Readers of the column sent in patterns and pattern requests. The club actually met together at the time of the annual quilt show. IN October 1936 they began gathering every Friday afternoon AT The Detroit News.

Other quilts made by quiltmaker

NumQuiltsF123
more than 50
SellQuiltF127
no
TeachF129
no
AddNotesF132
Mary Gasperik sent three pattern tracings of this quilt's border and two blocks (the Star and the five-star block) with attached fabrics to Emma Zawatski in Sturgis, Michigan, another quilter she met through the Detroit News column. Susan Salser purchased the tracings at an online auction site in November 1907. She found Zawatski's name on an invitation list Mary Gasperik had compiled for her 50th wedding anniversary. These tracings show that Gasperik shared her own designs with others at an early stage of her quilting career.

Other source materials available for quiltmaker

OtherSourceMat
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993)102-103. Merikay Waldvogel "One American Dream Comes True" Quilters Newsletter Magazine, March 2008, 46-49.

Image Information

InvenNumF075
048b
ImageConF075a
Detail
ImageTypeF076
Color
SourceF077
CD-ROM
AccessF080
Restricted
HolderF080a
Susan Salser

File Information

function
Image - medium display (250-550 pixels)
file_medium
image
file_format
jpeg
Contributing Institutions
MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, Michigan State University Museum, Alliance For American Quilts
Publisher
Quilt Index
Resource Type
StillImage

data verification

verify
yes
verifiedby
Salser,Susan
dateverified
7
23
2014
CE

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