Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics – Image Resources

Episode 7 – Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time


Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics - Episode 7: Empowering Women One Quilt at a Time

Tuley Park Exhibition, 1930s. Tuley Park Quilt Club. Chicago Park District. Chicago, IL. Courtesy of Susan Salser.

You can look long and hard and you won’t find an object more central to the history of women than the quilt. In this episode we look at the quilt’s historical and current roles as (among others) an avenue of personal expression, a sly medium of social and political opinion, and a building block of financial security. Unique among objects, quilts are both lowly “women’s work” and great art. They are something made from nothing; they are both nurturing and inspiring. They can communicate both intimate memories and great societal truths, and they have throughout history. Here curators, quilt makers, and scholars discuss the surprising number of ways in which the quilt has been and continues to be woven into the histories and psyches of our mothers, our sisters, ourselves.

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