November 30, 1984: A selection of a dozen quilts spanning two centuries is the focus of the most recent Curator’s Choice exhibition opening at The Brooklyn Museum on November 21st. Curator’s Choice: Quilts will be on view in the Lobby Gallery through February 4, 1985.
It has been nearly 25 years since a major selection of quilts from the Museum’s collection has been displayed. This current grouping illustrates the breadth of The Brooklyn Museum’s collection and includes examples dating from the 18th to 20th centuries and of both European and North American origins. Highlights of the exhibition include a charming late 18th-century English or Irish appliqued pictorial quilt with rural scenes which include a public house (pub) and a romantic church ruin adjacent to a graveyard and border pairs of animated personages who are attired in everything from everyday work clothes to informal at home and business wear to military uniforms to best dress outfits. Their character is achieved through stitched features. While the subject depicted is unusual, the concentric bordering it typical of British quilts of this date. Magnificently conceived and executed is the quilt whose top is the work of both piecing and applique work; the distinguishing feature is an eagle surmounted by only 8 stars. Elizabeth Weltch of West Virginia is said to have worked on this version around 1830. Precisely pieced quilts have an uncanny resemblance to the works of many mid-20th century artists such as Josef Albers and Victor Vasarely and gxaphic strength tends to be especially well handled in Amish quilts whether they are made from natural or man-made fiber goods.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1984, 050.