Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Quilts of Gee's Bend

On our recent trip to San Francisco, we had the great joy of seeing two exhibits of the Quilts of Gee's Bend. The photos here are from the
Haines Gallery where they have several contemporary works. Lucky me, I was able to photograph the quilts. When I entered this gallery, I was overwhelmed with the beauty; they literally brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately I was so overwhelmed that I neglected to get the sheet describing each of the pieces and only know this first one because of the brochure.

Annie May Young, Housetop 2002.

I love the graphic design -- they are like great abstract paintings.

I was also apparently unable to hold the camera still ... resulting in fuzzy picture! Love the red strip down the center!

I believe this is the older one in the collection ... it's corduroy fabric.

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This was my favorite -- reminds me of a Kandinsky. However they are all so beautiful it's hard to say which is my favorite.

The exhibit at the De Young museum was totally awesome. It was quite emotional to see these quilts in person after seeing the PBS special and borrowing the book from the library. Their story is special ... to think that such beauty could come from such poverty stricken times and such a remote area. They didn't have money to buy fabric and used whatever they could salvage from Sears corduroy swatches to old clothing ... no trip to the local Joann's for them! Most are hand quilted without all the fancy machine stitches in contemporary American quilts. The beauty is in the design and usage of color.

I had about four favorites -- must get the book from the library again so I can have pictures. It was frustrating not to be able to photograph!!! They have about 40 quilts in the collection, which will be rotated from time to time so all quilts can be exhibited (sounds like another quick trip to SF before the end of the year??)

The museum is in itself a work of art ... there is an observation floor that provides a 360 degree view of the city and Golden Gate. To think, when I first made plans to go to San Francisco, I had no idea the quilts were there. I learned it from the QuiltArt list.

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