Opening Reception for War and Pieced: Quilts from Military Fabrics at the American Folk Art Museum

at American Folk Art Museum

Photos // Steve Smith for Art Zealous

“War and Pieced is the first exhibition in the United States to showcase the spectacularly complex geometric quilts made exclusively by men using richly dyed wools derived from British military and dress uniforms. Once termed “soldiers’ quilts” or “convalescent quilts,” the pieced textiles are most closely associated with the Crimean War as well as conflicts in India, South Africa, and other troubled regions of the British Empire during the nineteenth century. The exhibition further relates these military quilts to an earlier technique of pictorial inlaid or intarsia quilts, made with felted wools during the Prussian and Napoleonic wars beginning in the mid-eighteenth century. The visual virtuosity of the quilts, often incorporating many thousands of pieces no larger than one-inch square, assumes a deeper emotional resonance as we consider them within the matrix of war and its aftermath. The quilts are drawn primarily from the unparalleled collection of internationally acclaimed quilt authority Dr. Annette Gero, with additional examples from public and private collections, many never before on view. ”