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Alabama Threads: African American Quilts from the Permanent Collection

July 25 through September 27, 2009

Throughout history, quilts have held an important and often cherished place in our culture, society and family traditions. Created in domestic settings, quilts serve both decorative and practical purposes. The creator is typically a woman and is not professionally trained, but has learned the essential skills of quilting in the home from her mother or relatives. The quilts quickly become treasured by the owners and often are passed on through the family to become prized heirlooms. Though the materials and techniques may be common, quilts, as a process, as art, as an image, reflect the very fabric of our history and democracy.

In 2004, the Museum acquired a collection of 48 quilts, most of which were created in West Alabama between 1945 and 2001. The collector, Kempf Hogan, assembled the collection in concert with folk art dealer Robert Cargo and their mutual dedication ensured that the collection is of both historical as well as artistic significance. Featured artists include Yvonne Wells, Mozell Benson, and Nora Ezell—all of whom now enjoy national renown. The designs of these textiles range from the traditional to the most contemporary forms of expression.

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.


Alabama Threads installation image courtesy of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts