American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Quilts tell stories.
February 18 - April 30, 2017

The Museum of Art presents its first major quilt exhibition featuring extraordinary examples of American piecing and quilting from the early 1800s through the present. American Quilts: Sewn Stories traces personal histories and those of a wider nation through the sophisticated patterns, bold colors, and sensitive needlework found in American quilts. Too often dismissed as a “mere craft,” these works show rare aesthetic sophistication and illustrate the lives of those often silent in American history, including women, African Americans, and members of closed religious communities.

In examining these artworks, we find stories of celebration, loss, identity, and activism as quilters stitched their lives into the textiles that would cover their families and friends. Looking not only at historical quilts but also those of living artists, the exhibition considers how contemporary artists engage with this traditional medium to make statements about modern life that challenge viewers. The story of quilting is an American story and, with this exhibition, we find works that connect us to the past and present.

The exhibition is free to MWPAI members.
General admission is $8; free to all 18 and under.

Exhibition Programs

MA Holstein Bars Large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Museum docents will be available in the exhibition gallery to answer questions.

  • Saturday, April 1, 2017, 1 pm - 3 pm
MA Fabric Stories The American Quilt 80.12 20 inches
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

To arrange a private docent-led tour, contact the Museum Education Department two weeks in advance at 315-797-0000, ext. 2170.

  • Saturday, February 18 - Sunday, April 30, 2017
03 31 2017 Gallery Talk and Book Signing 520 x 372 Event Image
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Thomas Knauer
Designer and Textile Artist

$5 MWPAI members
$13 general admission
(includes exhibition admission)
Tickets, 315-797-0055

Thomas Knauer will explore quilt making in the 21st century, discussing his own work and the work of other contemporary quilters who introduce complex social, political, and cultural issues into the quilting tradition.

  • Friday, March 31, 2017, 12 pm
MA Night Hunt detail Large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Free and open to the public

  • Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12 pm - 2 pm
MA HAYNES Whistler large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Luke Haynes, designer and textile artist

$5 MWPAI members; $13 general admission
(includes exhibition admission)
Tickets: 315-797-0055

  • Sunday, April 9, 2017, 1:30 pm - 5 pm
MA N0124.1957 Large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Anna D’Ambrosio, Museum of Art Director
Wednesday, April 12, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
$10 MWPAI Members; $18 general admission
Tickets, 315-797-0055

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 5:15 pm - 6:15 pm
2007.14 Large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Free and open to the public

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017, 12 pm - 4 pm
MA 86.30.1 large 20
American Quilts: Sewn Stories

Free and open to the public

Drop-in for a hands-on, close-up look at a variety of historic quilts. Using conservators’ gloves and magnifying glasses, examine a quilter’s​ ​​detailed work while learning about the history of these textile arts.

  • Sunday, April 23, 2017, 1:30 pm - 4 pm
NYSCA-logo

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.