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WALL POWER! Quilts from the Werner and Karen Gundersheimer Gift

August 6, 2019–September 1, 2019
Exhibition
At the American Folk Art Museum
Lincoln Square, Manhattan

Quilts—America’s great art experiment . . . monumental compositions in color, pattern, geometry, and representation made (mostly) by women over more than three centuries. The American Folk Art Museum has been at the forefront of the movement to bring recognition to quilts as a major art form with deep roots in American life and experience. The museum’s collection is especially distinctive for unique, highly individualized expressions in this medium that is both yielding and unforgiving, challenging the maker to test the limits imposed by cutting and piecing bits of fabric The museum is renowned for its in-depth holdings of Amish quilts, whitework textiles, double wedding ring, crazy, appliqué quilts, and more. In 2018, the museum received a gift of twenty-one quilts from Werner and Karen Gundersheimer that introduces new patterns into the collection. Gathered over a period of decades as the couple scoured eastern Pennsylvania, and then the Midwest and Southern United States, the quilts are graphically striking examples that embody what the couple call “wall power.” Packing a tough visual punch, the textiles hold space and defy the deceptive softness of their nature.

Exhibition curator: Stacy C. Hollander, deputy director for curatorial affairs, chief curator, and director of exhibitions, American Folk Art Museum

 

Exhibition-Related Programs

Families and Folk Art: Quilted Stories – August 10, 2019
Dialogue + Studio: Patchwork Paper Piecing – August 13, 2019
Critical Walk-Through: LJ Roberts on Weaving Community – August 22, 2019

 

Image credits: Pyramid Quilt, artist unidentified, Pennsylvania, c. 1910, silks and wools, 72 1/2 x 79 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.7. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Broken Star Block Quilt, artist unidentified, United States, 1930s, cotton, 81 x 64 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.18. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Baskets Quilt, artist unidentified, United States, 1930–1940, cotton, 85 1/4 x 72 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.16. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Jacob’s Ladder Variation Quilt, artist unidentified, United States, 1930s, cotton, 82 x 73 1/2 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.4. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Drunkard’s Path Quilt, artist unidentified, United States, 1920s, cotton, 70 x 70 1/2 in., Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.15. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

 

 

Credits

This exhibition is supported in part by the Bresler Foundation, David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, the Ford Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Council for Traditional Folk Art.