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06 Feb 2020

Connecting Threads: A Year of Exceptional Quilts Opens January 22

(New York, NY, January 15, 2020) A yearlong series, Connecting Threads: A Year of Exceptional Quilts will be presented at the American Folk Art Museum’s Self-Taught Genius Gallery (47-29 32nd Pl., Long Island City) from January 22, 2020, through December 30, 2020. Through three successive rotations, the series will take a deep dive into the extensive collection of the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) and will focus on quilts as objects of connection. Emelie Gevalt, curator of folk art at AFAM, organized the exhibition.

“In 2020, a short trip into Long Island City to the Self-Taught Genius Gallery will open up a world of quilts for visitors from the five boroughs and beyond,” said Jason T. Busch, director of AFAM. “With the generous support of the Bresler Foundation, Emelie has mined the museum’s rich quilt collection to organize three distinct presentations that will inspire and engage connoisseurs and first-time visitors alike.”

“Stitched into the quilts in the museum’s collection is a rich legacy of community, family, and collecting from across the United States,” said Gevalt. “Each rotation will offer visitors an opportunity to see exceptional works and gain a deep understanding of the quilt as a symbol of shared creativity and inspiration.”

Signature Styles: Friendship, Album, and Fundraising Quilts opens January 22 and will offer a rare opportunity to view the museum’s signature quilts in one place. Interpretation will emphasize the quilt as a community activity made visual, documenting group connections through the sewing together of pieces that were crafted and signed by individual quilters.

Banding Together: Double Wedding Ring Quilts opens in June and will shine a spotlight on the evocative double wedding ring pattern. Taking up a theme not seen at the museum since the 1980s, this rotation brings together a selection from the museum’s broad collection of the much-loved and recreated quilt type, featuring a range of colorful variations on the interlocking band design.

Gathering Pieces: An Assembly of Quilts opens in September and will celebrate some of the museum’s most complex quilts. Featured examples will combine to create a dazzling array of multi-piece patterns, viewed through an interpretive lens that invites comparison among quilting, collecting, and curating as acts of creative assemblage.

The exhibition is featured on the museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #ConnectingThreads.

Visits to The Self-Taught Genius Gallery are by appointment. For reservations, please email or call 212 265 0605. A monthly series of free, curator-led talks are planned for February 5, March 4, and April 1. Each talk is free.


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Exhibition credits

Connecting Threads: A Year of Exceptional Quilts is supported in part by the Bresler Foundation, the David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, 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.


About the Self-Taught Genius Gallery

Since 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has presented the creative expressions of self-taught artists across time and place. The museum’s Long Island City location, the Self-Taught Genius Gallery, opened in 2017 to display exhibitions drawn from the museum’s extensive collection. Visits are by appointment only.