Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change
Toledo Museum of Art: Nov. 21, 2020 - Feb. 14, 2021
Disrupting our expectations of quilts as objects that provide warmth and comfort, this exhibition will explore the complicated and often overlooked stories quilts tell about the American experience, offering new perspectives on themes including military action and protest, civil rights, gender equality, queer aesthetics, and relationships with land and the environment. While addressing these powerful themes, Radical Tradition will highlight how the strategies and materials of quiltmaking over nearly two centuries have called into question long-established hierarchies, both in the art world and in society at large. Incorporating a wide range of media—from cotton and wool to salvaged wood, paint, and celluloid film—the objects on view will challenge traditional definitions of what a quilt is and the form it can take.
Image above: Quiltmaker unidentified, initialed J.F.R., Cleveland-Hendricks Crazy Quilt, 1885-1890. Lithographed silk ribbons, silk, and wool, with cotton fringe and silk and metallic embroidery, 75 x 77 in. The American Folk Art Museum, Gift of Margaret Cavigga, 1985.23.3.