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Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt

Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt

Edited by Paul Arnett, Joanne Cubbs, and Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr.
Contributions by William Arnett, Louisiana P. Bendolph, Mary Lee Bendolph, Loretta P. Bennett, Dilys Blum, Joanne Cubbs, Maggi McCormick Gordon, Bernard L. Herman, Amei Wallach, and Lauren Whitley

This book examines the resurgence of interest in quilting in the community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and documents the development of key traditional quilt patterns—housetop, court house steps, flying geese, and strip quilting—through the presentation of outstanding examples created from the 1930s into the twenty-first century. Passed from generation to generation, these women utilize the skills of necessity and material availability. Quilt making takes on the highest form of expression and innovation.

The quilts represented in this book, none previously presented to the public, demonstrate how the quilters improvise upon the structure or “architecture” of the quilt to create a work of art that is based upon a traditional quilt pattern while simultaneously creating a visual vocabulary that is stylistically identifiable as Gee’s Bend. Each pattern is examined with visual examples detailing various interpretations. New works by granddaughters and great-granddaughters of some of the master quiltmakers are presented, along with quilts not previously exhibited by quiltmakers Mary Lee Bendolph and Mary L. Bennett.

224 pages
330 illus.
11 x 13 inches