Wisconsin Wetlands II River Bend, by Sue Benner - 2007

“Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics” KET2 Premier – Episode 4, “What is Art?”

Episode 4, “What is Art?,” premiers on KET2 next Monday, September 26, at 7PM EST.

Wool Drawings Quilt -- Maker Unknown (c. 1900)This episode delves into the age-old question of “what makes art, art?” The quilt started out as a craft made for a useful purpose by women but what about when quilts are deemed  ‘art’ as they cover museum walls? Vadis Turner, an artist from NY, mentioned in her interview  that, “it’s uselessness is really the transition from craft to art; too good to be used.” Do  you agree with her?

Changing the perspective of quilts  from “grandma’s work” to “art” is still challenging for some. Gee’s Bend quilts, made in rural Alabama, have been in many exhibitions in major art museums across the country. These well-known works are roughly crafted but highly visual. Are they art or are they craft? How big a role does craftsmanship play in determining whether a quilt is art? Quilt artist Valerie White talks about craftsmanship in this episode.

Tune in to hear the opinions of many on this highly charged topic. Quits will continue to be the perfect vehicle around which to center the art-craft debate.

– Shelly Zegart


→ Find out more about Episode 4, “What is Art?”

→ Watch Episode 4 Preview

→ Image Resource Guide for Episode 4


Image Credits:

Top: Wisconsin Wetlands II River Bend.   Sue Benner (2007).  Silk, cotton, found fabrics, dye and paint, fused, mono-print, machine-quilted. 83 1/2 x 83 1/2. Collection of John Walsh, III. Photo by Gregory Case.

Left: Wool Drawings Quilt. Maker Unknown (c. 1900). Wool. 81″x78″. Photo by Geoffrey Carr. Formerly in the collection of Shelly Zegart.

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