Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gee's Bend Quilters Collective

Mary Lee Bendolph and Ruth P. Mosely

good morning duckies,

i hope everyone has an aromatic cup of coffee or tea preparing you for the battle against the midweek slump. i am sipping rooibos and thinking about the fact that one of my childhood friends will be getting married this spring. i have been contemplating making them a quilt as a wedding present. there is a collection of quilts that have particularly intrigued and inspired me.

for this week's wonderful world work i'd like to acknowledge the Gee's Bend Quilters. Gee's Bend is a small and rural community nestled in the depths of Alabama. it was founded during antebellum times and has traditionally been a very impoverished and low-resourced community. for many years the people of Gee's Bend lived without much recognition. very few people had access to the rich and creative Gee's Bend quilting culture. although the quilters did not have an endless supply of fabric, they were able to create some of the most renowned North American pieces of textile art.

Louisiana Bendolph

right around the year 2000 the quilts gained international acclaim when multiple museums in the US introduced them into their temporary galleries. the new york times called the quilts, "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced." the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective is dedicated to producing unique and artful quilts, using the proceeds of their sales to give their community more resources and access to opportunities, and to sharing the history of Gee's Bend quilting.

Mary Lee Bendolph and Ruth P. Mosely

these quilts stand on their own artistic merit. they carry the stories of a people often overlooked and disenfranchised due to their socio-economic and racial background. they speak to resilience and collective nature of a community. they speak to the marriage of functionality and aesthetics. these quilts and the quilters that made and continue to make them are examples of how even when resources are scarce it is more than possible to create something of true beauty.

photocredit: {treat}

1 comment:

  1. OMG...did you go to their exhibit at the art museum? So fabulous and such a wonderful story!!!


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