Saturday, November 9, 2013

Now on display in San Jose

One of my New York Beauty quilts is still in California, but not because it was forgotten. This rescue quilt, dramatically missing two large chunks, is now on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles as part of the "Quilt Detective: Fake, Fraud or Finished?" exhibit.

photo courtesy of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
The quilt was not part of my recent exhibition at the museum, but I shared it during the supporters' dinner at Nancy Bavor's house in September. I was trying to emphasize the importance of museums like the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, especially the importance of museum supporters. Without these museums, our quilts could end up like this damaged masterpiece.

There's a certain amount of shock value involved whenever I open up the damaged quilt and show it to unsuspecting quilt lovers. It was especially dramatic to see it after spending the afternoon leading a gallery tour of the 35 quilts, most of which were in very good condition. Seeing the reaction to the quilt at the supporter's dinner, the museum staff asked if it would be OK to hold on to it for the "Quilt Detective" exhibit, and I happily agreed.

photo courtesy of Nancy Bavor, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
Finally this quilt, which was not included in either of my two exhibitions, will have its day in the sun! It's hanging right where the Cinco de Mayo was during my exhibition, and it really jumps out on that dark wall. According to the museum staff, visitors are very enthralled with the quilt. It captures the imagination. In my experience, that's always been the type of reaction I get when I show it.

"Quilt Detective: Fake, Fraud, or Finished?" is on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles through January 19th, 2014. For more information, click here.


  1. Your ongoing support of and dedication to quilt history is exemplary. Thank you for all you do.

  2. Bill, can you explain how this quilt fits the theme of the exhibit? Thanks!

    1. Yes, the emphasis of the exhibit is to look at quilts and figure out things about them. Most of them are from the collection of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, and several are time-span quilts. This one is a mystery because we don't know what happened to it, and it's important because it speaks to the importance of quilt conservation.

    2. Any theories on why those big bites were taken out?

    3. There are many theories, but that's all they really are. Could've been a number of things, but it's always interesting to see how people react to it.

  3. I think it is fantastic that they are displaying this quilt!! It sounds like they have a wonderful vision for their museum.

  4. I was able to see the exhibition before the the "bitten" quilt was displayed. Your collection was wonderful! Thanks for sharing for all to see the wonderful works of art in quilting!

  5. Wow - I wish I could get to San Jose to see all those quilts, but I can't, so thanks for sharing them on your blog. They are beautiful and the rescue quilt is fabulous, if something of a mystery! Have loved looking at your blog. xCathy