Published: June 14, 2011
The Speed Art Museum will present “Quilts from Kentucky and Beyond: the Bingham-Miller Family Collection” June 19⁓eptember 18. This exhibition will feature 39 American quilts from one of the country’s outstanding private collections, the Bingham-Miller family of Louisville.
Museum director Charles Venable said, “We are most pleased to be able to present this fine collection to the public and are exceptionally grateful to Eleanor Bingham-Miller for allowing the family’s quilts to be shown publicly. The Bingham-Miller family collection contains wonderful examples of quilts made in the commonwealth, as well as other states. Furthermore, the diversity of design and technique revealed in these quilts shows the amazing creativity and skill of the women who made them. Anyone who thinks a quilt is simply something to keep you warm at night has never seen quilts like these!”
“Quilts from Kentucky and Beyond” will trace more than 100 years of American quilting from the 1830s through the 1940s with fine examples from across the country. Kentucky-made quilts are highlighted, featuring a spectacular example from the 1850s or 1860s that uses silk and silk velvet to depict lush cherry trees and grape vines. Other Kentucky pieces include a 1940s quilt inspired by Native American blankets from the Southwest.
Outstanding works from Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama and Pennsylvania will also be on view, including a circa 1859 album quilt from Illinois in which various quilters contributed boldly patterned squares of flowers and foliage. The distinctive quilting traditions of Pennsylvania and Ohio’s Amish and Mennonite communities will add an additional aesthetic and cultural dimension to this extraordinary exhibition.
The Bingham-Miller family began collecting quilts in the late 1970s. Over the years, its collection has grown to include more than 60 quilts. Eleanor Bingham-Miller was one of the founding directors of the Kentucky Quilt Project in 1981, which systematically documents Kentucky quilts, their makers and their stories.
The Speed Art Museum is at 2035 South Third Street. For information, 502-634-2700 or www.speedmuseum.org .
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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