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"As Pieces Here to Pieces Join": American Appliqué Quilts, 1800-1900

October 19–December 31, 1989

This group of fine, nineteenth-century appliqué quilts, many of them from the Philadelphia area, has never been the subject of a specific study, and several are now exhibited for the first time. The exhibition coincides with the one hundredth annual meeting of the American Folklore Society, which occurs in Philadelphia, and its enthusiastic co-organizers, Dilys Blum and Jack L. Lindsey, have explored both the aesthetic and the social context in which these charming and useful objects were created. One of the most important works in the Museum's textile collection, the Hewson bedcover, was painstakingly restored under the supervision of consulting textile conservator Joy Gardiner. The exhibition will include a number of important works on loan that expand the meaning and frame of reference of the exhibition. The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have generously supported both the installation and the accompanying Bulletin, and the Main Line Quilters contributed to the cost of restoring the Hewson bedcover. Without the thoughtful and affectionate care of the original owners of the quilts, many of which descended in the families that created or commissioned them, none of these fragile objects would have survived; their presentation over the years as most welcome gifts to the Museum's collection has made this exhibition possible.

Main Building


Dilys E. Blum
Jack L. Lindsey

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