Wednesday, October 10, 2012

IQSC Museum: Behind the Scenes

a very old embroidered textile seen in one of the flat storage units
The International Quilt Study Center Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska is especially impressive when you consider all the things that go on behind the scenes. I visited the museum four times during my stay in Lincoln, and spent much of the time in areas of the building that the public generally doesn't see. I also had the unique opportunity to spend time visiting with the staff. They really knocked my socks off.

Most of the pictures in this blog are from the tour, but the day before the tour I visited with Jonathan Gregory and Carolyn Ducey in the conference room on the 3rd floor, where I enjoyed seeing the display of Hortense Horton Beck's quilts in the Education Gallery. Jonathan and Carolyn were very kind to meet with me. I had arrived unannounced, but they dropped everything to see the chintz medallion. It was very clear they loved quilts. Carolyn and I chatted until closing time, but I was back the next day for the tour.

Carolyn Ducey shows a magnificent chintz applique quilt
The tour was incredible, and we spent a lot of time in the viewing room and the storage facility, seeing things very few visitors get to see. 

What an extraordinary opportunity we had to tour the facility and have the staff tell us about the facility and exhibitions. On Monday, I got to do something that even fewer people get to do: I met with Jonathan Gregory, Carolyn Ducey and Pat Crews to show them about 20 of the New York Beauty quilts from my collection. They were very generous with their time. Our conversation was stimulating, and they gave me great advice. 

I'm not easily impressed, but they did much more than impress me. They blew everybody away. In many ways, the IQSC Museum staff approached the week the same way I did. We wanted to pull out all the stops, not coast through it. After spending time with the staff at IQSC, it's quite clear that coasting through life is the last thing they'd ever do. They are ambitious, creative, resourceful, intelligent - all the qualities I most admire - and they're friendly and having fun. What could be better?

As soon as I got back to the hotel, I went online and became a Sustaining Member of the museum. May there be many opportunities for me to be involved with the museum and in communication with the staff in the future. For more information about the international Quilt Study Center Museum, including how to become a member,  click here.


  1. are you going to apply for unl's distance hybrid Master's in Quilt History?

    1. I'll definitely check it out. Heard it would be available soon.