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Fabric of a Nation

American Quilt Stories

ISBN: 9780878468768 (HB - E)

A mother stitches a few lines of prayer into a bedcover for her son serving in the Union army during the Civil War. A formerly enslaved African American woman creates a quilt populated by Biblical figures alongside celestial events. A Diné women weaves a blanket for a U.S. Army soldier stationed in the Southwest. A quilted Lady Liberty, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln mark the resignation of Richard Nixon. These are just a few of the diverse and sometimes hidden stories of the American experience told by quilts and bedcovers from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Spanning more than four hundred years, the fifty-six works of textile art in this book express the personal narratives of their makers and owners and connect to broader stories of global trade, immigration, industry, marginalization, and territorial and cultural expansion. Made by Americans of European, African, Native, and Hispanic heritage, these engaging works of art range from family heirlooms to acts of political protest, each with its own story to tell.

Pamela A. Parmal is Chair, and David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jennifer M. Swope is Assistant Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Lauren D. Whitley is Senior Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


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