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Pieces and Patterns: Quilts of West Alabama

February 13 through April 01, 2020

On view in Atrium, Blackmon, and Weil Galleries

The tradition of quilting within West Alabama communities dates back generations and reflects the importance of humble, utilitarian objects to the quilters who originally made them for their families’ comfort and survival. Beginning at the end of the twentieth century, hand-crafted objects–and particularly quilts–came to be valued for the integrity and creative spirit that their makers brought to their work, manifesting an appreciation not just for their craftsmanship, but also for their ingenuity in adapting and sustaining ancestral traditions.

This exhibition of works from the Museum’s collection will examine the range of West Alabama quilt-making techniques. Beginning with the now-well-known practice of the quilters of Gees Bend in Wilcox County, the more widespread traditions of West Alabama quilters–such as applique and pieced construction–will demonstrate the distinctive characteristics of their creations and the varied patterns and themes they adapted to their individual practices of quilt-making.

Featured artists include Plummer T. Pettway (1919–1983), Norah Ezell (1919–2007), Mary Maxtion (1924–2015), Mary Lee Bendolph (born 1935), and Yvonne Wells (born 1939).

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


Lead Sponsor

Alabama State Council on the Arts


Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Combs

Related Programs

Coffee with the Curators

Thursday, February 13
8:30–10 AM

Museum members are invited to join us for coffee and conversation with the curators of The Golden Hour, Pieces and Patterns, and Will Henry Stevens exhibitions.

Winters North and South Celebration

Thursday, February 13
Members-only from 4–5 PM
Public opening at 5 PM

Museum members are also invited to gather with us for a celebration of winters north and south. Participants will cozy up on the terrace, sip on specialty cocktails, and enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres. They will have an opportunity to engage with the new exhibitions in unique and exciting ways by hearing from artists and having their portraits captured, all while enjoying the sounds of live music.

Exhibition preview




Featured image:


Photography of the 2020 installation at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.