Monday, October 6, 2014

"Eye on Elegance, Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia"

Achsah Goodwin Wilkins applique counterpane now on display at DAR
"Eye on Elegance, Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia" at the DAR Museum in Washington, D.C., is now officially open, and it looks like an outstanding exhibition. One of the objects on display is the appliqué counterpane from my collection, now part of the DAR Museum collection. Attributed to Achsah Goodwin Wilkins (1775-1853) of Baltimore, Maryland, the counterpane was made in the first quarter of the 19th century.

The DAR Museum web site has an online exhibition with photos and descriptions of the objects. There are also videos about the exhibition and the specific groups of quilts-- appliqué, album, pieced and migration quilts--  with Curator of Costumes & Textiles Alden O'Brien and Heidi Campbell-Shoaf, Director and Chief Curator at the DAR Museum. As the O'Brien explains, the exhibition combats the myth that all quilts arise out of frugality or necessity. The origins of quiltmaking in Europe and America were anything but "make-do", as the quilts in the exhibition clearly demonstrate.

It takes a lot of work to put together an exhibition of this magnitude, especially when working with such old, rare textiles. Congratulations to the staff, volunteers, and everyone else who contributed to a job very well done! "Eye on Elegance, Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia" will be on display until September 5th, 2015-- so there is plenty of time to arrange a visit, even if you are not in the area. I think there will be a catalogue, too. More information at the exhibition web site- click here.


  1. I visited the site and it does sound like an impressive show to put together. Love that they are making it as interactive and educational as possible.

  2. I'm glad that museums take quilting seriously enough to put together such a thorough and well thought out exhibition.

  3. Your quilt passion is quite contagious...and comfy.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing info about this wonderful exhibition!