Thursday, April 29, 2010

The National Quilt Museum, Paducah KY

Many years ago when AQS started, it was also somewhat connected with the Museum of the American Quilter. Then the Museum became independant, and for a long time I had a VISA card that made donations to the Museum. It was cool, because it was one of the first to have a picture on it...a pineapple quilt!
Just last year another important event took place. This is now the  National Quilt Museum!
No government funds provided, of course, but it's such a beautiful place.
Anyone who likes museums will appreciate this one. And although Paducah isn't much on the way to anywhere but St. Louis (travelling from the southeast, I mean) it's worth a stop even when the AQS show is not on. There are always several exhibits, classes, a gift shop to die for (book-wise), and a changing display of quilts from their collection, which is the AQS Best of Shows for many years back. Almost all the winning quilters have acceptred the award money, which is a purchase award so the quilt can belong to the Museum.
This is where you can see the quilts from the annual "New Quilts from Old Favorites" contest. The 2010 theme was "Sunflowers" and the work was outstanding! Sorry, no photography allowed in the Museum....there's a book about it, which I purchased for Cherry-Cherry and actually gave it to her first.
OK, I did look through it, but I didn't read it!

We expected to see Hollis Chatelain's quilts in a special exhibit, but were totally amazed to find it was a travelling exhibit called "Imagine Hope: Awareness Through Art". Each quilt was hung with several photographs relating to social and environmental issues, and it was quite heart touching.
Yes, there were sad issues, but there was hope, too. You really must see this if it is anywhere near you....or if you have "pull" with a local museum, think about having this installation!
I will never forget the photograph of the father talking to his children on the phone...looking at them through the glass of a prison visiting room.

The real treat was that Hollis herself was there to talk with visitors, and we had a good chat. She has such a generous spirit. I have enjoyed hearing her speak several times at the Houston IQA show, and once took a class with her about the business of being an artist.
In connection with the Imagine Hope exhibit, there is a quilt travelling around. Deluna and I went out to the lobby to be sure to put in some stitches, and enjoyed meeting quilters from around the country...and the world! A shy Japanese lady joined us, and her husband took pictures, of course.
Deluna did, too:

Hollis is at work coloring some areas to suggest what threads people might like to use...not trying to mark my hand! Everyone who works on the quilt signs their name, too.
If you visit the Museum website ( before May 25 you will be able to see pictures of the exhibits I have mentioned.

Coming next (because I know you have better things to do than read super-long blog posts!):
What does that AQS show look like?


Anonymous said...

This is soooooo much fun!!!


Pat said...

I agree with Gay -- I am enjoying your blogging about Paducah. Looks like you crammed a lot in the short time you were there. And a visit with Hollis -- how lucky.