Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics - Episode 9 - Quilt Scholarship: Romance and Reality

Episode 9: Quilt Scholarship: Romance and Reality



  • Why Quilt Scholarship?
  • How Romanticism Hobbles Quilt Scholarship
  • African American Quilts: A Misconception
  • Quilt Scholarship since the 1970’s
  • Quilt Scholarship: Why Does It Matter?

The history of quilt scholarship in America is more relevant—and far more interesting—than some might think. To begin with, there was once a time when it wasn’t very scholarly at all.  Turns out that the quilt was so beloved, so central to the myth of American life, that many scholars failed to debunk the legends and folklore it had engendered.  Today the field has grown into a serious discipline generating material of interest—not just to the quilt world — but to a dozen other important disciplines from material culture to sociology. The quilt is central to them all.

Featuring appearances by Shelly Zegart, Stacy C. Hollander, Bernie Herman, Elizabeth V. Warren, Carol Ely, Lee Kogan, Carolyn L. Mazloomi, Sue Reich and William R. Ferris.


Episode Resources:

Image Resource Guide | Image GalleryBiographies


Watch Episode Introduction:

In this video: Stacy Hollander, Senior Curator, American Folk Art Museum (New York, NY)


Image (page top): Quilt books and exhibition catalogues. Photo by Focal Point.


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