Springfield Museums Events June

Museums à la Carte Lecture

June 19th, 12:15 pm

General Museum Event

Something from Nothing: The Story of the Gees Bend Quilts    
Steve Wittenberg, MD

Gees Bend is an isolated community in rural Alabama surrounded on three sides by the Alabama River. Since the 1800s, poor African American women have been making quilts to wrap themselves in as well as to plug holes in the walls and floors of their primitive cabins during the cold months.  Since there was no material available for quilt making they had to use empty feed bags and worn out work clothes in the early years.  The quilts were discovered accidentally on a clothes line by an episcopal priest who, stunned by their beauty, set in motion an amazing set of events that led, over a period of many years, to their emergence in major department stores, later on in art galleries and even on American stamps.  The women who made these quilts suffered physical, psychological and political hardships and yet produced art objects that a Pulitzer Prize winning art historian called equal to any modern abstract art in the world today.  The talk relates the story of the quilt makers and the quilts from the 1800s, through the civil rights period, to the present.

$2 members; $4 nonmembers

Davis Auditorium, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.
The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program; cookies and beverage are provided.

Sponsored by Big Y

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