American Quilts


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Quilts." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the date of publication in Resource Library.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." Periodically TFAO conducts keyword searches from the Resource Library homepage relating to this topic. The count of pages within Resource Library citing the keywords indicates breadth of coverage in Resource Library for this topic. We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to online resources found outside the TFAO website. Online resources are gathered from TFAO catalogues. Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

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Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


TFAO references:

As of 2/6/12 TFAO Digital Library contained 145 pages referencing the word "Quilt."


From other web sites:



TFAO also suggests these DVD or VHS videos:

America Quilts is a one hour video by PBS Home Video released in 2000.







Art of Quilting. This 60 minute 2007 DVD from PBS Home Video is described by PBS as follows "Explore the diverse techniques and artistry reflected in contemporary American art quilts. Discover how the boundaries of traditional American quilt making have expanded to an art form that now adorns the walls of exhibit halls and art galleries worldwide. The Art of Quilting honors the artistry America's contemporary art quilters by visiting art quilt exhibitions across the country and through personal interviews with noted fabric artists."





Century of Quilts, A: America in Cloth This 2002 documentary written by Laurie A. Gorman and produced by Wisconsin Public Television for PBS Home Video celebrates the art of quilting by featuring selections from the best 100 American quilts of the 20th century, the stories behind their creation and the quilters as they work. The program travels across America to capture the artists at work in their studios and homes and tells the stories behind the creation of these treasures. Selections from these impressive works were sewn and shown together at the 1999 International Quilt Festival in Houston.




Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt. From the day she learned to draw, Faith Ringgold has worked steadily to master her craft and communicate her vision: to present a realistic view of the black female in society. This 28 minute L&S video is an insider's look at how one woman has fumlled her dream of becoming an artist. Cine Gold Eagle Award. "Interviews American painter, sculptor, and quiltmaker Faith Ringgold (b.1934) about her career as an African-American woman artist. She acknowledges the strong influence of her mother, a fashion designer and dressmaker, and describes her breakthrough technique of painting on cloth, which allowed her work to be rolled up and shipped inexpensively. Looks at the combined influence on her work of European painters and African traditions, particularly the patterns and repetition of African design." ISBN 1-882660-00-5 [1] Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt is a video available through the Sullivan Video Library at The Speed Art Museum which holds a sizable collection of art-related videos available to educators at no charge.





Quilt on the Wall: A Portrait of Jan Myers. Since colonial times, the most spectacular of all blankets has been the handmade quilt. Contemporary textile artist Jan Myers weds this utilitarian respect for quiltmaking, in this 28 minute video from The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with her own desire for self-expression. Antique quilts and historical photographs provide the backdrop as we watch Myers make a patchwork quilt: from planning it, dyeing and cutting the fabric to sewing and quilting the geometric squares of her modern design.

Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, The is a 60 minute DVD from Alabama Public Television, available through the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Store. For more than 150 years, the women of Gee's Bend have made quilts reflecting their history and daily lives. Over generations they worked in isolation, continuing to inhabit the remote plantation land their parents once slaved. Today, art critics worldwide compare them to the great creative enclaves of the Italian Renaissance.




Quilts of Gee's Bend, The is a 28 minute DVD from Tinwood Media, available through the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Store. Set in the quiltmakers' homes and yards, and told through the women's voices, this music-filled documentary takes viewers inside the art and fascinating living history of a uniquely American community art form.




To locate videos by artist name, please click here. Educators can locate videos by theme by browsing through TFAO's Topics in American Representational Art. Please click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in this catalogue. TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos.


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