Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Where have I seen that quilt before? (3)

The French expression "deja vu" translates to "already seen" and is meant to express the uncanny feeling of recollection. Sometimes people look at the quilts in my collection and think, "Deja vu!" Chances are, they have already seen the quilts...but where? 

It's interesting to retrace the path of this quilt since it's been part of my collection. The first time I saw this outstanding 19th century pieced quilt, it was for sale on Shelly Zegart's web site. I bought it, but there was one condition-- it was scheduled to be included in a three-part exhibition of quilts in New York City. 

The exhibition, called "Heritage of Genius: American Master Quilts Past and Present" appeared in three Durst buildings in midtown Manhattan just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. 

Two quilts from my collection were part of the exhibition. The other one was featured on the cover of the catalogue. The "New York Beauty" quilts in the exhibition were described as a quilting love letter to the people of New York. Around the same time, both quilts were also included in the Northwest Quilters Show in Portland.

2011 exhibition at the Benton County Museum
In 2003, the quilt appeared in "Master Quilts Past and Present: Preserving the Voice of America's Quiltmakers" at the Grinnell College Faulconer Gallery. In 2011, it was part of an exhibition with 21 quilts at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. It was the first public display of the quilts as a group, and drew record numbers of visitors to the museum.

2013 exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
In 2013, the quilt was part of another exhibition with 42 quilts at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. In 2015, it was part of a 50-quilt exhibition at Pour l'Amour du Fil in Nantes, France. 

That event was like a big party celebrating my first book, "New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection" published by Quiltmania in France. The quilt was hanging behind me when I signed books. It was on the cover of the book and on the event bags.

In 2016, it was part of an exhibition at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. The exhibition occupied the main gallery of the museum and was hanging during the International Quilt Festival in Houston. 

I'm sure the quilt turned up in other places I do not recall at the moment, but it was published in at least one magazine article. It was in a feature I wrote for American Quilter Magazine ("Kentucky Beauties" July 2014). 

Where have you seen that quilt before? Everywhere! Maybe that means my job is done. The quilt is like a celebrity, and I'm its manager. It has fans. It poses for the paparazzi but never signs autographs. People recognize it when they see it, even if they have to ask, "Where have I seen that quilt before?"

The best part about having a quilt collection is sharing the quilts, even if it seems like oversharing. People worry about oversharing in 2018. It's a thing. I never worry about it with old quilts. I want everyone to see them, even if some folks saw them before. The quilts may be old, but it never gets old looking at them.

1 comment:

  1. I love this quilt and used it for the inspiration for a New York Beauty quilt.