Wednesday, January 1, 2014

touring in 2014-2015

This wonderful Oak Leaf Variant, c. 1860, made by Mrs. M. E. Poyner of Paducah, Kentucky, will be touring in 2014 and 2015. It is part of the "Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War" exhibition, launched by the American Textile History Museum in 2012.

From the museum's web site:

The American Textile History Museum (ATHM) is contributing to the nationwide conversation on the sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War (1861-65) through Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War, an intriguing and absorbing look at the most divisive period in American history.
When civil war broke out in America, the very fabric of life was altered. ATHM showcases this pivotal period in American history through a new lens, reflecting the personal sacrifice, heroism, mourning and reconciliation that changed the course of our country.
The quilt and its story are placed in a broader context through the use of textile-related artifacts, relevant images (including paintings, photographs, prints, and ephemera), and quotations from diaries and letters. Each object represents a deeply moving and insightful personal story, from the noose reportedly used to hang abolitionist John Brown to a mother’s quilt stitched with the uniforms of her two sons, one who fought in Confederacy gray and the other in Union blue.
Over a period of three years, guest curators Lynne Bassett and Madelyn Shaw identified and selected more than 150 artifacts and graphic reproductions to be included in the exhibition, as well as authored an accompanying book.

According to the authors’ introduction to the Homefront & Battlefield book: “The project is intended to encourage visitors to view the war not in isolation or through stereotypes and simplifications, but in its complicated and uneasy place in the context of American history. Through a wealth of artifacts drawn from around the nation, each with a strong provenance and embodying project themes, audiences will be able to see and acknowledge the human experiences beneath the veneer of Blue and Gray.”
Homefront & Battlefield connects deeply moving and insightful personal stories about the war with the broader national context and history and examines how textiles were both an expression of and a motivating force behind American politics and culture during the Civil War. As stated in the book:
Following its run at ATHM in Lowell, MA, the exhibit will travel throughout the country. Future destinations include the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY, April 4 – August 31, 2014; Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT, September 20, 2014 – January 1, 2015; and the Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, NE, February 1, - June 30, 2015.
Funding for Homefront & Battlefield was provided in part by grants from The Coby Foundation, with additional support from Mass Humanities and the Stockman Family Foundation .
Next stop, New York Historical Society. For more information, click here.


  1. I'm headed for Mass. in May so I'll miss the Lowell exhibit; but NYC is actually closer to where I'll be, so might try to get there then. We'll just have to see! Thanks for the heads-up!

    1. Check the dates. The exhibition was on display in Massachusetts in 2012, but will be in New York in 2014. Then it will go to Shelburne through 2014 in to 2015, and then to Nebraska. I bought the quilt this year, when it was already committed to the exhibition - so I have not yet seen it in person.

  2. Looks like an exhibit I would like to check out. Thanks for the info.

  3. It's a wonderful exhibit and I strongly recommend it (and the book) - hopefully all the quilts in the original exhibit will be in the travelling show I know sometimes they are not due to lack of space etc. It was great to see the Botanical Quilt from the Shenandoah Valley especially as I had just been to a lecture on the quilt whilst in Williamsburg little knowing that 2 weeks later I would see it "in the flesh". Enjoy!

  4. Yay! I'll be in NY in May so I will get to see your quilt! The New-York Historical Society is one of the places we always visit in NY.