A Century of African American Quilts

This exhibition in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Colonial Williamsburg displays twelve quilts. Those quilts spanning about a century after 1875 showcase the variety of styles and is a riotous expression of color. Half of these quilts have never been seen before by the public.

African American quilts vary widely in style, driven more by the artistic expression of the quilter, rather than a prescribed pattern. It is important to note that all of the quilts in the exhibition were made after the civil war and the end of the era of slavery in America. However, several of the quilters were born into slavery and in some cases descendants of enslaved. All of the quilts are made of simple materials transformed into works of art.

If you want to experience contemporary African American quilts, be sure to attend the first National African American Conference this July in Lawrence Kansas. There will be about 10 different African American Quilts exhibitions running concurrently with the conference at various facilities in the Lawrence area. For more information on the upcoming conference and the exhibitions, please follow this link.