Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A quilt tells a story

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Story Quilt by Fannie Stebbins
Loretta reports:

Historic Deerfield has, among many other treasures, a remarkable collection of textiles.  In previous posts (here and here) I’ve shown you dresses from the exhibition Celebrating the Fiber Arts: The Helen Geier Flynt Textile  Gallery.*

What I very nearly missed was the splendid quilt collection displayed on racks in a corner of the gallery.  Luckily, my companions were more observant, and we discovered this fascinating work, made by a lady in her 80s.

I was able to photograph some of the sections, as you see below.  But the full quilt was beyond my camera skills, and it didn’t seem fair to you or the artist not to show the masterpiece in its entirety.  So I contacted the Historic Deerfield Curatorial Department, who very generously provided a photograph as well as detailed information, which I’ve excerpted below:

The figurative folk art quilt, by American Fannie Bouviere Stebbins (1846-1933), was made in 11 months (1925-26).  Materials are cotton, linen, wool, and silk.  It measures 86 in x 74-1/2 in; 218.44 cm x 189.23 cm.

“56 blocks laid out side-by-side, each with embroidered and appliqu├ęd scenes ... a four-sided teacup border with embroidered edge in yellow thread; and silk backing.”

“Born in Hartford, Fannie [Bouviere] married George D. Stebbins (b.c.1847) of Hartford in 1867, and they celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in 1929 when George was 82 yrs. and Fannie 84 yrs.”

“In 1997, one of the summer fellowship program students noted the block with a young boy holding a whip while seated in a wagon harnessed to a African-American man, which was copied directly from a 1921 Cream of Wheat advertisement captioned 'Giddap Uncle.'—Gift of Mrs. Mary B. Denslow."

Full quilt photo at top by Penny Leveritt, Historic Deerfield.

My thanks to David E. Lazaro, Collections Manager and Associate Curator of Textiles, and Penny Leveritt, Visual Resources Manager, Historic Deerfield, for responding so graciously and generously to my query.

*on view until 28 December 2014

Please click on images to enlarge them.


Rose said...

Just fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Wow, it looks incredible!

Anonymous said...

This looks great! Super fun quilt.

Two Nerdy History Girls. Design by Pocket