African-American Quilt: Florida, early 20th century – recycled wool fabric
African-American Quilts: This site shows examples of quilts in all categories – historical, traditional and contemporary. Click on the buttons in the left frame to view, then click on quilt displayed in the main window for more.
African-American Quilts: This site by Maude Wahlman shows pictures of the following quilters along with an image of one of their quilts: Mozell Benson; Arrester Earl; Joanna Petway; Plummer T Pettway; Pearlie Posey; Lucinder Toomer; Pecolia Warner; Susie Ponds; Sarah Mary Taylor; and Martha Jane Pettway.
African-American Quilts are Part Art Form, Part Practical Need, all Part of Tradition: Review of an exhibit at the COCA Gallery. It includes an image of a 1981 quilt by Pearlie Posey, "Everybody Quilt".
African-American Quilts of Alabama: Flowers Without Roots?: An article by Robert Cargo about the Gees Bend quilt collection he donated to the International Quilt Study Center of the University of Nebraska.
American Fabric: Newspaper review of a 1998 exhibit in Iowa. Arester Earl, Hystercine Rankin, Aretha White and Rose Marsh are mentioned as having work in the exhibit. Most of the article is an interview with the curator, Maude Wahlman.
American Memory: This site documents recorded interviews that are part of the American Folklife Center collection. One African-American quilter is included, Mrs. Donna Choate of Sparta, NC, who was interviewed September 25, 1978. On this page, type Donna Choate into the SEARCH box and you will have access to the first 20 files of information about Mrs. Choate – most are short tape recorded segments of her interview which you can listen to online and in which she talks about quilts and quilting (the transcript of each recording is there for reading as well). Several files are of pictures of her and some of her work (clickable for close-up views). Click the "Next Page" button for access to files # 21-40.
Anna Williams: Her quilts are exciting! It is also her work that Nancy Crow acknowledges has been the bedrock of her own designs. On this site you can read a biography and view several of Anna’s quilts.
Antique Applique Quilt: This is an absolutely exquisite quilt made by an ex-slave in Baltimore at the turn of the century. Owned by Gladys Marie-Fry, it was featured on the PBS Antiques Roadshow. The site tells about the quilt and asks the viewer to participate in its appraisal by asking you to respond to a series of four questions. Images are clickable for excellent close-up views of details.
Boldly Inventive Quilts Of Gee’s Bend To Be Shown At The Whitney Museum Review of the exhibit.
Chris Clark: Chris is a self-taught folk artist. This link will take you to a site where you can access many close-up views of Chris Clark’s work. His art takes many forms, including painted, hand-sewn quilts, often depicting biblical scenes. He is now hailed as one of the south’s premier visionary artists. Other sites with information about him and/or his work include:
· Chris Clark: Shows several images of his with a link to his biography.
· Chris Clark:Another site with a brief biography and quilt images
Clementine Hunter: Clementine is a self-taught folk artist. Although her primary interest was painting, she also quilted. This is an article in Rawvision Magazine about her life and work.
· Artist’s Work Chronicles Early 20th Century Plantation Life: Article about her with one image.
· Review of Book about Her: " She was a worldly woman too, with a wicked sense of humour which she retained right into old age. She made a tester, or roof quilt, to fit inside the top of a friend’s four-poster bed. He inspected it, then asked her had she forgotten to ‘sign’ it ? No she said, and pointed them out to him upside down: ”I done put ’em upside down so yo’ wife could read ’em..”
· Quilt, circa 1940: Cotton fabric and thread on paper
· Gilley’s Gallery: This is a large image of a quilt by Clementine, "Melrose Plantation" circa 1960 which is on sale for $25,000.
Collecting Folk Art at the High: Notice about a 1999 exhibit – Image is shown of a quilt in the Museum’s collection created by an African-American maker from North Carolina. Very different, but picture not clickable for an enlarged view.
Cross Crazy Quilt: circa 1910
Donna Choate: See information about her in the "American Memory" link above.
· Block Quilt Detail of Boston Commons-type pattern
· Block Quilt (different one)
· Reverse of Block Quilt – 16 patch
· Sabe and Donna Choate – Standing in front of quilt draped on fence
· Audiofiles: "Now I piece on the sewing machine"
Ella Mae Muldrow and Lenora Mathis: Quilts are featured by these two women who live in Randolph, AZ , a small African-American community outside of Coolidge in Pinal County. Images are clickable for close-up views.
Freedom Quilting Bee: The Freedom Quilting Bee grew out of the Civil Rights movement. Local people lost work on farms after registering to vote in the nineteen sixties, and the women put their skills to use in earning family income. The Freedom Bee is now the largest employer in Alberta, Alabama.
Gees Bend, Alabama : Long article about the community. Includes information about quilting. No pictures.
Gladys Henry: This review of an exhibit includes a picture of her "Iowa Star Medallion" quilt.
· Patchwork – Quilts at the High: Review of an exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta, "No Two Alike: African American Improvisational Quilts. Include picture of a quilt by Gladys Henry.
Gladys-Marie Fry: This is a 6-minute video clip that can be downloaded. In it, Gladys-Marie Fry, one of the nation’s leading authorities on African-American textiles talking about a quilt by Yellow-Bill, a sequined Haitian Voudou Flag, and about a quilt by a slave boy studying to be a healer
· From the African Loom to the American Quilt: This site documents a 1998 exhibit curated by Gladys-Marie Fry featuring 37 quilts. Pictures of 6 of the quilts (ranging from 1930 – 1995) are displayed. (Click "more" at the bottom of the page)
George Washington Carver: Needlework was one of the interests he pursued.
Hystercine Rankin: In 1997, Mrs. Rankin was presented with National Heritage Award (the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts) by the NEA – National Endowment for the Arts. On this site, an in-depth profile of Mrs. Rankin is given, including a picture of her working on a quilt. You will also be able to access a gallery with 3 images of her work with background information (including the one about the unprosecuted murder of her father when she was 10 years old); pictures showing Mrs. Rankin teaching her craft to a new generation; her "quilting recipes" with images of 5 more quilts; information about patterns of quilting construction said to be typical of Afro-Traditional quilt design; and a brief paragraph about continuing the tradtion. Mrs. Rankin is also a Master Quilter with the Mississippi Cultural Crossroads and has been a member since 1988.
· Tribute to Hystercine Rankin: This is a tribute to Mrs. Rankin by the Hon. Bennie G. Thompson that was read into the records of the US House of Representatives November 9, 1997.
Jorena Pettway: Gees Bend, Alabama. This is a 1937 picture of her with Jennie Pettway and another young girl.
Lucinda Toomer: An image of a quilt mistakenly attributed to Amanda Gordan of Vicksburg, MS is shown in comparison with a Mande textile (Surinam). Please note, however, that the actual quilter is Lucinda Toomer, from Macon, GA. It is in the collection of Maude Wahlman.
Made By Men – African American Traditional Quilts: This site of a 1996 exhibit curated by Gladys-Marie Fry at the University of Maryland features quilts by El Roy Atkins, Charles Palmer, Wanen Wise, Herbert Munn, Benjamin Jackson, and Charles Coter. Unfortunately, this site is no longer available
· Quilt By Association: This is an in-depth review by Thomas E. Mani of the "Made By Men – African American Traditional Quilts" exhibit.
Mary Avant: This is a review of an exhibit at the Krannart Art Musuem in Illinois and gives a profile of Mary Avant. No pictures.
Mary Lou Gunn: Ruston Alabama. Picture of her with two of her quilts hanging on a clothesline.
Mary Louise Wright-Euell: 1897-1985. This is a page dedicated in her memory by the granddaughters she taught to quilt and who now continue the tradition. An image of her and two of her quilts are shown. Unfortunately, this link is no longer available
Marie Hensley: Early 20th century quilt
Marion Coleman Quilts : Commercial site that specializes in handcrafted photo memory quilts and pillows. [No affiliation]
Mayme Reese: Interview with Mrs. Reese as part of the 1930’s "Life Histories" Federal Writers Project. Remarkable picture of Mrs. Reese working in a smokehouse on a quilt. Clickable for a very close-up view. You can also listen to her response. File takes about 4 minutes to download – can listen to it from the site itself.
Michigan’s African American Quilters: Site documents quilts made by Michigan African-Americans and included in a 1991 exhibit, "African-American Quiltmaking Traditions in Michigan". Quilts shown are by Viney Crawford (1986), Mary Williams (1939), an unknown slave (1857-1858), Mary Atkins (1987), Deone Todd Green and Ione Todd (198), and Sina R. Phillips (1983). Each is clickable for close-up views.
Mississippi Cultural Crossroads: Located in Port Gibson, Mississippi Cultural Crossroads is a community based organization that focuses on the visual and performing arts. It includes a quilting cooperative that was organized in 1988. The site includes images of one of Mrs. Rankins quilts and a view of a quilt show.
Mother, Weep No More – Handstitched textiles by African-American Quilt Guild. Shows detail from Sweet Claras Freedom Quilt (quilter not cited)
Mozelle Benson: She is a 2001 National Heritage Fellow. A link to an in-depth interview with her is accessible from this site along with images of several of her quilts
· From Tradition: Baskets of Alabama and Quilts by 2001 National Heritage Fellow, Mozell Benson: This is the exhibit catalogue.
· Tribute to Mozell Benson: This is a tribute (SJR33) to Mrs. Benson by State Senator Little (T) that was passed by the Alabama State Legislature congratulating her on her accomplishments.
· Log Cabin Quilt, 1979: Scroll to bottom of page. Also shown is a Dolly Dingle quilt by Pearlie Posey in 1981. They were part of a 1999 exhibit in Charleston, West Virginia.
Nora Ezell: A brief profile of Nora Ezell as a 1990 recipient of the Alabama Folk Heritage Award.
· Audio Interview: This is a downloadable audio file of an 8-minute interview with her as part of the Alabama Folkways Radio Series.
Not So Long Ago…: This is a closeup view of a woman, probably in the 1930’s, using a treadle sewing machine to make a quilt. Two children are at her side holding the quilt.
Official Quilt of Alabama : On March 11, 1997, the legislature of the State of Alabama designated the Pine Burr Quilt as the official state quilt. This document recognizes the Freedom Quilting Bee for its contribution to the state, and recognizes China Grove Myles as the only person left who knew how to create the Pine Burr Quilt, a pattern involving hundreds of tedious swatches that unfold before the eye in a breathtaking, three-dimensional effect
Olivia Baker: This is a newspaper review that profiles Olivia Baker, a quilter whose work was part of a 1997 exhibit in Cinncinati. A picture of Mrs. Baker with some of her quilts is shown, clickable for a close-up view. Article includes several quotes by Carolyn Mazloomi.
Ophelia Searcy: This is the catalogue from the "Kentucky Quilts: Roots and Wings" exhibit at the Kentucky Folk Art Center. (NOTE: Do a CTRL-F on "African" – without the quote marks") for information about her. No pictures
Pearlie Posey: Image of her 19981 "Everybody Quilt". Also shows a Log Cabin styled quilt made by Mrs. Benson in 1979. They were part of a 1999 exhibit in Charleston, West Virginia. Other images of her work can be seen:
· Tubman African-American Museum: The web site for the museum shows an image of another "Everybody Quilt"
Quilt Ties Utah History to African Americans: Newspaper article about a group of African-American quilters (Mary Fayne Daniels, Rita Bankhea, Addie Martin Cunningham, Edith Valarie Patton Hudley, and Patsy Moore) in Salt Lake City who made a quilt that documents the presence and heritage of African-Americans in Utah. This July 1996 article is now only accessible for a fee at the Salt Lake Tribune Archive: http://www.tribaccess.com/
Quilts of Gees Bend : Information about the exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. On the left-hand side of the screen, click Current Exhibits, then scroll down to The Quilts of Gees Bend and either click on the quilt, or on View Exhibition Highlights. Eight of the quilts are shown, clickable for close-up views. [NOTE: After the exhibit closes in mid-November, click Past Exhibitions.
Reynoldstown Quilters: This article by The Virtual Quilt is a profile of a group of five elderly women in Atlanta who have been quilting together for a number of years. Pictures of them at their frame are included.
Rosie Allen: A profile of Mrs. Allen is presented as well as a picture of her working on one of her quilts.
Rosie Lee Tompkins: This site features a full online catalogue of the 1997 exhibit at the Berkley Art Museum of Rosie Lee Tompkins’ art.
· Women’s Guerilla History Project: One of Rosie Lee Tompkins’ quilts is used for the poster of the Women’s Guerilla History Project.
Something Else to See: Improvisational Bordering Styles in African-American Quilts: 1997 exhibit from the Eli Leon collection. Lot of good information and several pictures of beautiful quilts.
Susie Ponds: Green Snake Quilt
The Quilts of Gees Bend : Review of the exhibit by Texas Visual Art Online Several examples are shown. After the last picture is are clickable links to information about the Gees Bend Plantation.
Todd Family Quilt: Created in1985 by Deone Todd Green and Iona Todd, this quilt chronicles experiences of members of the Todd family in their journey to, and settlement in, a mid-Michigan farming community. Site provides extensive information about the quilt, and a large picture of it that is clickable for a close-up view. Be sure to click on the links for "Icon Details" and "About the Makers" for more information and pictures.
Tutwiler, Mississippi: An African-American Tradition: This site of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles that documents a 1998 exhibit of quilts made by members of the Tutwiler Quilt Collective. Details of 5 of the quilts are shown: "Corner to Corner" by Pandora Cox and Alberta Mitchell; "Churning Again" by Minnie Mitchell and Johnnie Liddell; "Spools" by Pandora Cox and Johnnie Liddell; "Spring Time" by DeElla Pringle and Alberta Mitchell; and "Mississippi Tracks" by Edward Harris and Alberta Mitchell.
Vernell Addison: A photo of Mrs. Addison posed among some of her quilts.
Wilma Gary and the Sabathani Quilting Group: Newspaper article is a review of a 1996 exhibit at the University of Minnesota and an in-depth profile of Mrs. Gary and her work. A picture of Mrs. Gary and Remi Douah, doctoral student from the Ivory Coast, and a detail of one of the quilts in the exhibit are shown.