Fort Dearborn Quilt (Green Merit Ribbon)


Quilt Index Record: 5B-9D-1F

Essay Historical Background

description
Pictorial quilt depicting Fort Dearborn in 1833
essay
Several quilts documented used some sort of image of Fort Dearborn in their quilts to depict the 1833 beginnings of Chicago. This quilt also portrays the scene of the confrontation between Indians and soldiers protecting the Fort. This quilt did not win a prize in the contest, but the maker often used the quilt in her quilt lectures she gave in the years following the World's Fair. The 1933 Sears National Quilt Contest was announced in January 1933 with a deadline of May 15, 1933. Over 24,000 quilts were entered at local Sears stores or sent to one of 10 regional mail order houses. Quilts were judged at each site with the top three winners moving onto the next round. Finally just 30 quilts reached the final judging held at the Sears Pavilion on the 1933 Chicago World's Fair site.

Administrative Fields

InstNameF003
Waldvogel Archival Collection
InstProjNameF003a
Sears Quilt Contest 1933 Chicago World's Fair
InstInvContrNumF004
086

Information source fields

IdentPersonF006
Blood relative of quiltmaker
DateDataF006b
1992
IfQownerF007b
Inherited
interviewerF007e
Waldvogel

Overall Quilt Description

TypeObjF008
Finished quilt
QuiltTitleF009
Fort Dearborn Quilt (Green Merit Ribbon)
OverallWidthF12a
80 inches
OverallLengthF012b
80 inches
PredomColorsF014
Brown
Green
White
OverallColorF14b
Bright or primary colors
DateQuiltF023
1930-1949
DateBegunF023a
1933
DateFinishF023b
1933
LayFormatF024
Medallion or framed center
SubjQuiltF025
The seige of Fort Dearborn is depicted in this quilt. The scene shows Fort Dearborn, the white residents' log cabin just outside the fort, and Indians confront soldiers. Flying above the fort is an eage with outspread wings holding Chicago's flag--here with only two stars. A third star was added for the 1933 Exposition and remains the official city flag.

Quilt top materials and construction

FiberTypesF035
Cotton
FabPrintF037
Multiple scrap
Solid/plain
ConstrucF038b
Hand Applique
ConstrucF038g
Embroidery

Quilting Description

QuiltTechF049
Hand quilting
DesignF052a
Grid square

Quiltmaker identification

QuiltTopF054
Fitzgerald, Mary O'Halloran
QuiltedByF055
Fitzgerald, Mary O'Halloran

Quilt provenance

LocMadeF057a
Chicago
ProvCountyF057b
Cook
ProvStateF057d
Illinois (IL)
ProvCountryF057f
United States
AcquiredF058
Inheritance

Quilt purposes uses

ReasonsF060
Challenge or Contest entry
PresUseF062
Keepsake/memento

Quilt design and materials sources

SourceMatF063
Purchased new
TopSourceF064
Original to maker
AddNotesF066
Notice the layering of small strips of fabric to create realistic log buildings.

Exhibitions and Contests

ExhibitListF067a
This quilt was included in the nationally 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). Exhibited also at The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum May and June 1997, "Houses in Quilts: The Fabric of Our Lives, Architectural Interpretations in Fabric." Also exhibited at Spring International Quilt Festival at Rosemont, IL April 11-13, 2003.
ContestListF071a
Sears National Quilt Contest, 1933 Chicago World's Fair

Quilt ownership and contact info

OwnershipF082
Private
OwnerCountryF086b
United States

Other source materials available for this quilt

RelItemsF088a
Newspaper clipping (Chicago Tribune May 1949: "Widow, 83, Sows Seeds of Art in Fancy Sewing: Puts Fort Dearborn on a Quilt" Photo of quiltmaker is on pg 84 of Patchwork Souvenirs.

Quiltmaker personal information

MaidenF097b
O'Halloran
GenderF098
Female
BirthDateF099
1866
DeathF100
1957
EnviroF104c
Urban
CountryF108
United States
OtherSourceMat
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World's Fair (Nashville, TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993, pp. 84-86.
SpouseF113
Fitzgerald, Thomas
OccupationF115
Police Officer

Other quilts made by quiltmaker

NumQuiltsF123
5-20 quilts
AddNotesF132
Mary O'Halloran was educated at a convent school in Rensselaer, Indiana. There she learned quilting, lace making, crewel, and needlepoint. After schooling, she took a job as a nanny. While walking the children in a park, she met a young police officer, Thomas Fitzgerald. They were married in 1892 and had three children of their own. In 1924 Mary Fitzgerald won a major contest in Aurora, Illinois with an applique quilt. Her Sears contest entry, Fort Dearborn, won a green ribbon of honorable mention at a Chicago store, but it was not among the finalists shown at the fair. Following the fair, she promoted quiltmaking by organizaing quiltign clubs in the Chicago area and lecturing about quilts.

Image Information

ImageConF075a
Whole quilt
ImageTypeF076
Color
SourceF077
Slide
photocredit079a1
Gary Heatherly
AccessF080
Restricted
HolderF080a
Merikay Waldvogel
CreditLineF080b
Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman
ReposFile
Dmwc075.jpg
5B-9D-1F-461-Dmwc075.jpg
233271
image/jpeg
zoom
Zmwc075.jpg
5B-9D-1F-462-Zmwc075.jpg
1803685
image/jpeg
verify
yes

File Information

function
Image - large display (550 or more 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

Detail Images

No additional images uploaded

Additional Records

No additional records