African American Quiltmaking in Michigan by Marsha MacDowell, Michigan State University Museum

By Marsha MacDowell, Michigan State University Museum

A priceless, historic contribution, this is often the 1st ebook at the quiltmaking culture of African americans in Michigan. With 60 images of quilts, it brings jointly many pictures within the exploration of African American quilting and examines quiltmaking as a sort ladies have used to make contributions to the old that means of the African American family members and group.

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Extra info for African American Quiltmaking in Michigan

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African-American quilts became one of America's newest forms of exotica. Continued scrutiny of the quilts resulted in the promulgation of a number of theories that were immediately accepted as fact. Visual criteria for recognizing African-American quilts (stitch length, asymmetrical organization of quilt patches, size of patches, frequent use of bright colors) were devised. Long-established canons of quilt history research, such as determining the quiltmaker's identity, the quilt's provenance, the date of making and the fabric content, were no longer deemed essential.

Among the stated objectives was that this exhibition represent the diversity of quilting traditions found within the African American community. Themes outlined by the group formed the basis for the selection of the quilts and development of educational programs and included: (1) quilts as records of patterns of migration and settlement; (2) quilts expressing or documenting ethnic identity; (3) quilters as artists/quilts as art; (4) quilts as documents of personal, family, and community history; and (5) quilting traditions.

Dr. MacDowell also serves as the coordinator of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program in partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and has conducted numerous research projects on traditional arts that have resulted in many exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Anita Marshall is a librarian with the Chicago Public Schools. Formerly a librarian at Michigan State University, she was an active member of the MSU Black History Celebration Committee, served as co-president of the MSU Museum Associates, and was a member of the advisory committee for the African American quilting in Michigan project.

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