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FW: [AlabamaFolklife] "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" comes to an Alab ama museum

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  • A.J. Wright
    fyi..aj wright // ajwright@uab.edu ... From: Brackner, Joey [mailto:Joey@arts.state.al.us] Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 1:53 PM To: AlabamaFolklife Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2003
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      fyi..aj wright // ajwright@...

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Brackner, Joey [mailto:Joey@...]
      Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 1:53 PM
      To: 'AlabamaFolklife'
      Subject: [AlabamaFolklife] "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" comes to an Alabama
      museum


      To the list:

      The following press release was just issued by the Mobile Museum of Art

      THE QUILTS OF GEE'S BEND
      June 14 - August 31, 2003

      Mobile, AL (by Sarah Teague)-

      "My way."

      That's how the quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama, describe the handiwork and
      design of the 70 quilts that go on display at the Mobile Museum of Art in
      Langan Park from June 14 to August 31.

      Forty-five quilters, all 20th Century artists, spent years quilting "my
      way." Their designs are not the traditional "Wedding Ring," "Sweetpea"
      designs, but are more abstract, with bold command of fabric placement.

      Noted art critic Michael Kimmelman in a New York Times article called the
      quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has
      produced."

      Fabrics are for the most part what the quilters found around their homes -
      corduroy, wool, printed terry cloth, synthetic blends, denim. The quilters
      tended to work alone, revealing the combination of introspection, action,
      and flexible but unbreakable wills that mark these women's daily lives and
      the ritual of making quilts.

      One of the quilters, Geraldine Westbrook, describes "my way" as "you just
      had to find a way to do it yourself...When you sit down, you got to get
      yourself a mind of your own, figure out a way to put them together."

      If there is a favored design, it is an extension of a form generally called
      "Log Cabin" among quilters nationally. In Gee's Bend, it is "Housetop"
      quilts, recalling home building techniques with blocks upon blocks. Familiar
      patterns, when used, take on a highly personal and imaginative appearance in
      the hands of these gifted women.

      "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" is an exhibition of works organized by the Museum
      of Fine Arts, Houston, where it has already been on display, and the Tinwood
      Alliance of Atlanta, a non-profit group that owns and preserves the quilts.
      The exhibit comes to Mobile from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New
      York, where the exhibition was highly praised and soundly attended.

      "We are so fortunate to have this exhibition on display so near its
      origination," said Joe Schenk, director of the Mobile Museum of Art. "Gee's
      Bend, near Camden, Alabama, has been known for its magnificent quilt designs
      for decades. The beauty and creativity link them to modern art while they
      hold true to the folk art traditions of quiltmaking. It is great that their
      exquisite handiwork will be seen here."

      William Arnett is the Atlanta art collector who created the Tinwood Alliance
      to preserve and promote the quilts. Arnett bought the quilts over a decade
      at prices ranging from $100 to $2500 each. They are now worth many times the
      original prices. Arnett has collected about 500 of the Gee's Bend quilts and
      is encouraging the current generation of Gee's Bend residents to continue
      the tradition.

      The Quilts of Gee's Bend will travel to museums across the country for the
      next three years, making these striking works, and the inspiring story of
      the artists who created them, available to hundreds of thousands of viewers.
      After Mobile, the exhibition will travel to the Milwaukee Art Museum
      (September 27, 2003-January 4, 2004); The Corcoran Gallery of Art,
      Washington, D.C. (February 14-May 17, 2004); the Cleveland Museum of Art
      (June 27-September 12, 2004); the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk (October
      15, 2004-January 2, 2005); the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (February 13-May
      8, 2005); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (June-August 2005); The Jule
      Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University (September 11-December
      4, 2005); and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (December 17, 2005-March 12,
      2006).

      The Mobile Museum of Art is located in Langan Park just 1-1/2 miles from
      Interstate 65. It is open 7 days a week, from 10 AM to 6 PM Monday through
      Saturday, and from 12 to 5 PM Sunday. Admission. Senior, student, and group
      discounts available. For more information, visit www.MobileMuseumofArt.com
      or call (251) 208-5200.

      Media Contact: Cindy Raymond, Public Information Officer
      (251) 208-5209; craymond@...

      www.MobileMuseumofArt.com

      In addition:

      Beginning June 1st, The Museum of Mobile (Mobile's history museum) will
      offer Stitches in Time, displaying area quilts dated from the late 1800's to
      the early 1900's. These quilts tell unique stories reflecting the creativity
      and the life experiences of their creators. During the show, members of the
      Azalea City Quilters' Guild will hold demonstrations and explain pattern
      designs. For more information, call (251) 208-7569 or visit
      www.MuseumofMobile.com


      Joey Brackner
      Alabama Folklife Program
      Alabama State Council on the Arts
      201 Monroe Street
      Montgomery, AL 36104
      334-242-4076, x-225
      FAX: 334-240-3269
      joey@...
      www.arts.state.al.us


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