Thursday, December 23, 2010

The American Folk Art Museum


A trip to the American Folk Art Museum was high on my list of priorities whilst in NYC, and having devoted a day to view the quilts at both the American Folk Art Museum and the Lincoln Square Branch of the Museum, I am happy to tell you I was not disappointed.

American Folk Art Museum ~ Lincoln Branch
Star of Bethlehem with Satellite Stars Quilt
Leola Pettway (b. 1929)
Boykin, Alabama
1991
Cotton and Synthetics
My day started at the Lincoln Square Branch where at present the quilts exhibited are all star themed.  The exhibition is called Super Stars.   Stars are a beloved and enduring motif in American quilts, appearing in pieced bed covers as early as the 18th century and are still popular with quilt artists today. 

American Folk Art Museum ~ Lincoln center
Le Moyne Star Variation Quilt
Lucinda Toomer
Georgia 1981
Cotton and Synthetics
What I loved most about the quilts exhibited was the bold use of color as well as the quilt makers' use of a wide variety of fabric type: cotton, silk, synthetic ~ whatever fabric was available.  My personal favorite quilt was the Georgetown Circle Quilt:

American Folk Art Museum
Georgetown Circle Quilt
Artist unidentified
Kentucky USA 1900 - 1920
Gift of Shelly Zegart
From the Lincoln Square Branch was a short trip by subway to the American Folk Art Museum on 53rd Street.  Once again, if you are ever in NYC, you will want to stop by here to view the quilts. 

American Folk Art Museum
Stars Quilt
Artist unidentified
New York 
Cotton 1880
The Exhibition is entitled Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum and highlights historic as well as contemporary masterpieces all in a well preserved condition and of the most exceptional workmanship.


American Folk Art Museum ~ Lincoln Branch
Sara Maartz
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1872
Cotton
American Folk Art Museum ~ Lincoln Branch
Sara Maartz
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1872 
Cotton
Hummingbirds Quilt
Artist unidentified
Indiana
1920-1930
I also had a wonderful time taking pictures of the quilts and have tried to carefully document all the information that goes along with each quilt.

American Folk Art Museum
Golden Wedding Ring Quilt
Artist unidentified
United States
1934 - 1940
Cotton
Gift of Robert Bishop

American Folk Art Museum - Lincoln center
Artist unidentified
Possibly Pennsylvania
1930 - 1950
Cotton and blends

American Folk Art Museum
Double Wedding Ring Quilt
Susie Bontrager
Yoder, Kansas
1935 - 1945
Cotton and Synthetics

Edited to add:  All of the above quilts and many more can also be seen in this fantastic historical book:

Rita
NYC

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28 comments:

  1. The photos are just fabulous!! Thank you for sharing more on your flickr set. I really enjoyed looking at them. I will be heading to NYC (not far from me) in Feb for a visit. Maybe I will just have to pop in there. Good to see that you are enjoying yourself.

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  2. Thank you for sharing Rita! These are fabulous! It really makes me want to slow down with my own quilting processes and take the time to make them amazing, not just useful and cutesy. Glad to hear your having a great time!

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  3. thanks! I love the star quilt from 1880, I'm putting it on my to do list! Also love the Georgetown Circle Quilt too.

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  4. this is amazing! i have to see this exhibit.

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  5. I was at the 53rd street museum on Friday and was equally awed by the wonderful work.

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  6. I just love antique folk art quilts. The first star quilt photo is positively pulsing! Enjoy your holiday. I also love the International Centre for Photography in NY http://www.icp.org/visit

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  7. Ooohh thanks for sharing! I also love the Georgetown Circle Quilt. Talk about inspiration!

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  8. They are amazing - I love the 1920's - 40's quilts. The colour in the wedding rings quilt is so now!

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  9. So many of those quilts could have been made last week!
    Funny how trends go round and round in circles but ultimately, nothing ever really changes.
    I'm off to check out the flickr set.
    Andi x

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  10. I definitely see why you were drawn to Georgetown Circle. Stunning, both in design and color. Hmmm...reminds me of someone....

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  11. I am so glad you got to see the quilts while in NYC - they are not only gorgeous, but a documentation of history. SV-NY

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  12. Thank you fro sharing those magnificent quilts with us Rita!

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  13. wow! very inspiring. what a treat to see them! thanks for sharing :)
    x

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  14. Thanks for sharing your trip! So inspirational!

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  15. Rita, Thanks for all the wonderful pictures! I can't wait to see how they influence your work. Maybe all those wonderfull half squares you make will end up as stars!

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  16. Holey moley that "Stars Quilt" with the teeny-tiny stars flippin' amazing! Love all the pictures you've been sharing of your NYC trip - almost feels like I'm there too ;)

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  17. Those tiny stars! So glad to hear that you are having a great time. Hope the plans for Christmas are special.

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  18. Gorgeous! When you think of women hand-quilting these without all the rotary cutters and machines we have now, it is doubly amazing.

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  19. wow, i live right near NYC and had no idea that that museum was there.... i will hopefully check it out someday.

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  20. omgosh they are just lovely!!
    Thankyou have a lovely Christmas.

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  21. Thank you so much for sharing all of your amazing pictures! While looking at them on flickr last night, I actually got tears in my eyes! Such very special quilts!

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  22. Merry Christmas! I have enjoyed your blog so much this year.

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  23. I have certainly enjoyed your photos of these exhibitions - they are amazing - thanks for sharing.

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  24. Thank you, thank you for posting some photos of the exhibit! I am not going to get there so this is my way to view them. Maybe I'll mael it this spring to see the Red & white exhibit going up. Check out the stunning photo I posted to my blog about the coming Red & White exhibit in March in NY...... karenquilt.blogspot.com I'm looking forward to browsing and reading more of your blog now that I have found it. Quilts have filled my life with the opportunity to do what I love best -- research and write stories. I now live on an island off the West Coast far from the center of quilt history activities that I used to have access to on the East Coast of the US. But the Internet makes it possible for me to share this love thru blogging. Keep that needle flying!

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  25. Rita,
    Thank you SO much for posting such amazing pictures - I viewed the whole Flickr set. I wish I could get to NYC to see these amazing quilts in person, but your photos are the next best thing.

    Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

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  26. Fabulous! And another item gets added to the 'Must Do' list for June! Merry Christmas Rita :o)

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  27. I went to this exhibit last month, and it is great! The quilts are stunning and are a good smapling of various styles of quilts. I haven't seen the Star quilts yet on the west side, but I hope to go soon.
    For more quilts in NYC, there is a HUGE quilt exhibit coming to the Park Avenue armory in later March. I heard it is 400-600 red and white quilts?! That same weekend, the Empire Quilt Guild is having their biannual show, which is always amazing. Hope everyone can make it to NYC!

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  28. Thanks for sharing your photos. I never tire of looking at antique quilts. The quilt with 9-patches you've labeled "wedding ring" is also known as "jack's chain". Funny how names change with makers & regions, huh?

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