Welcome to the “Year of the Quilt,” the American Folk Art Museum’s celebration of a glorious American art form. This exhibition is part of a twelve-month-long series of shows, educational programming, and special events organized by the museum to emphasize the creative contributions of three centuries of talented women. Presented in conjunction with a new publication that illustrates two hundred of the museum’s most significant bedcovers, “Super Stars” illuminates one theme in these textile masterpieces from the collection.
Quiltmakers have always sought inspiration from the world around them, introducing the outdoors into the domestic interior through bedcovers that may reflect the colors of the landscape, the imagery of flowers in a garden, or animal and insect life. Stars, some of the most important elements of the natural world, are also a beloved and enduring motif in American quilts. Stars appeared in pieced bedcovers as early as the 18th century and remain popular with quilt artists today. Their ethereal light has guided nighttime travelers on sea and on land; their faraway presence has become the stuff of dreams when pieced, appliquéd, or embroidered into the form of a quilt. These associations are explored in the exhibition “Super Stars,” which highlights the dazzling diversity of this variable pattern in more than one hundred years of quilt artistry.
Stacy C. Hollander, senior curator