Gees Bend Quilters in song at the PMA
The amazing Gees Bend quilters broke into song as they gave us a tour of their powerful show at the PMA. Give a listen - we caught the singing on a short YouTube video.

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Gees Bend quilter, Nancy Pettway (b. 1935), Housetop, 2003. Corduroy and cotton twill, 68 ½ x 71 inches. Collection of the Tinwood Alliance. Photo: Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Il. This is one of a number of quilts in these colors that utilized leftover fabric from needlework the women in the town did for Sears Roebuck.
Nancy Pettway (b. 1935), Housetop, 2003. Corduroy and cotton twill, 68 ½ x 71 inches. Collection of the Tinwood Alliance. Photo: Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Il. This is one of a number of quilts in these colors that utilized leftover fabric from needlework the women in the town did for Sears Roebuck. Gees Bend Quilters

Ten Gees Bend quilters led us through their exhibit, Gees Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt” today at the PMA. Also on tap to help tell the story of the quilts and their discovery and importance were PMA Curator Dilys Blum and representatives of the Tinwood Alliance, the non-profit group that “discovered” the GB quilters and has helped organize exhibitions of their works. The traveling show — with 75 quilts, all of which are shown for the first time — is bigger than the groundbreaking 2002 exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston which traveled to the Whitney. This show has newly discovered historic quilts and quilts by young Gees Bend quilters influenced by their mothers and grandmothers. Before the press tour was over the sound of singing wafted through the exhibit galleries — it was three of the quilters singing hymns. The first songs were mournful chants sung in rounds by the ladies who were facing the walls and their quilts. After that they turned around and sang several hymns of praise and thanks. It was very moving. The show runs Sept. 16-Dec. 14.

Tags

gees bend quilts, gees bend: the architecture of the quilt, pma

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