New Textile Exhibits at Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums

(Courtesy of Colonial Williamburg Art Museums)

WILLIAMSBURG – The Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums (AMCW) have two new exhibits that examine the textile arts.

In July, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum presented The art of quilting in the museum’s Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery. The three-year exhibition will feature a variety of different quilts from the 19th century to the present day. Each year of the exhibition, twelve copies will be exhibited.

Quilt by Sarah Winifred Cobb; America, Kentucky, Richmond, Madison County, Cobb Hill; California. 1850; Gift of Katherine Phelps Burnam Flood (courtesy Colonial Williamburg Art Museums)

An Aug. 24 release from art museums states, “The quilts tell stories about people from America’s past and the societies in which they lived; some of the bedspreads in the exhibition recalled significant events in the life of the creators, such as weddings, births or deaths. In addition, album quilts will be on display, which were created to remember loved ones who may have moved.

“We are literally ‘covering’ America with this exhibit! Said Kimberly Smith Ivey, Senior Textiles Curator at Colonial Williamsburg. “Quilts feature a variety of techniques, colors and materials and are a testament to the diversity of American society. “

The statement noted that the handwork on display represents “America’s multicultural society and includes items from the Anglo-American, African-American, German, Amish and Mennonite communities.”

The art of quilting is scheduled until July 2024.

The second exhibition, Navajo Weaves: Adapting Tradition, is scheduled to open on September 10 in the museum’s Mary B. and William Lehman Guyton Gallery. This exhibition will be the first to feature Native American textiles for the museum.

Chef’s blanket (courtesy Colonial Williamburg Art Museums)

The objects on display in this exhibition are on loan to the Museums of the Collection of American Folk Art Lovers Pat and Rex Lucke.

The collection features the unique and brilliantly colored pictorial weavings of Navajo women in the late 19th century. The exhibit will teach guests what was important to the Diné (a Navajo term meaning “the People”).

“The six Navajo weavings spanning approximately one hundred years show how highly skilled Navajo weavers have adapted and modified their traditional textiles from the world around them to meet the demands of a modern market and commerce,” said Ivey. “With bold designs and brilliant colors, simple everyday objects like trains, cattle and soda bottles have been transformed into woven works of art, and today tell a fascinating tale of adaptation, survival. and change by the Navajo people. “

Navajo Weaves: Adapting Tradition is scheduled until December 2022.

“The curators at Colonial Williamsburg have worked diligently over the past twenty years to ensure that our collections represent the diversity of the American people,” said Ronald L. Hurst, chief curator and vice president of museums, preservation and historic resources of Carlisle H. Humelsine. “This critical work is ongoing, and these two exhibitions are clear evidence of our determination to use remarkable objects to tell a fuller and more complete story.”

For more information, visit the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums website.

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