POSING WITH PATCHWORK: QUILTS IN PHOTOGRAPHS Exhibition Opens at University of Nebraska-Lincoln Museum


Historic photographs do more than capture a moment in time. They tell a story. "Posing with Patchwork: Quilts in Photographs, 1855-1955," a new exhibition at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will explore the larger, human story conveyed in historic photographs of quilts.

"Vintage photographs remind us that quilts have always been a part of our daily life," said Marin Hanson, the museum's curator of exhibitions. "People felt they were special enough to include them in photographically documenting themselves, their families and their lives. Quilts were an important aspect of people's lives for as long as photographs have been around."
Janet Finley, author of "Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955: A 100-Year Photographic History," will guest curate the exhibition.

"Posing with Patchwork" will match a selection of vintage photographs with quilts from the museum's collection. The exhibit opens today, March 1 and will run through Dec. 1.

"Quilts were used as a storytelling device," Hanson said. "For some, people were proud of the quilts or the family member who made them. In others it is a symbol of comfort. The stories change, but the meaning is there."

In conjunction with Lincoln Artwalk's First Friday, the exhibition, and museum, will be open free of admission from 4:30 to 7 p.m. tonight, March 1. The First Friday reception will include a performance by the UNL East Campus Choir and a special display of the UNL Quilt Show.
In addition, the museum will celebrate fifth anniversary of the opening of its new building with refreshments in the Reception Hall. Through private funds from the University of Nebraska Foundation and a lead gift from the Ardis and Robert James family, the building opened its doors to the public on March 30, 2008. The glass and brick, environmentally sustainable building houses the museum's collection as well as state- of-the-art research space and galleries.

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N. 33rd St., is the home of the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. Established in 1997, the privately funded, environmentally sustainable museum houses more than 3,500 quilts and objects, state-of-the-art research and storage space and spacious galleries. The center's mission is to inspire an understanding of the cultural and artistic significance of quilts by collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting and promoting discovery of quilts and quiltmaking traditions from many cultures, countries and times.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $6 for adults (over 18); $3 for non-UNL students with ID and children; $12 for families (up to two adults with their children and grandchildren); free for children under 4, museum members, and UNL faculty, staff and students with ID. Docent-led tours are free with admission begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. A variety of other tour options are available. For more information, call 402-472-6459 or visit www.quiltstudy.org. The International Quilt Study Center is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences.

Pictured: "Seven Sisters," maker unknown, possibly made in Indiana, circa 1850-70. International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Ardis and Robert James Collection.