Mary Maxtion
American, born 1924
Active Boligee, Greene County, Alabama
Everybody Quilt, ca. 1991 
Cotton, cotton/ polyester blend, polyester, wool, rayon 
84 x 87 inches (213.36 cm x 220.98 cm)
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama,Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase 2004.21.9

From Heart to Hand: African American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

January 24, 2016 - April 10, 2016

Hodge Galleries Henry Gallery

For generations, quilt making has occupied a central place in American life, especially in the rural South. Quilts were integral to survival in drafty houses and often the only colorful or decorative furnishing in otherwise plain living space. For many African American women, quilt making was both an art form and a community event that simultaneously strengthened bonds between generations and shaped individual identities.

This exhibition showcases the work of 20th-century African American quilt artists from Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The quilts were made between 1945 and 2006 and represent major themes in traditional and unconventional design. The exhibition includes examples of pieced quilts, appliqué, as well as the improvisational techniques and alternative materials that are common practices for contemporary quilt makers. Accompanying this exhibition is the catalogue Just How I Picture it in My Mind: Contemporary African American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

This exhibition is organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.

From the Exhibition

  • Nora Ezell, (American, 1919–2007), Active Mantua, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Star Puzzle, 2001, Cotton, cotton/polyester blend, 82 1/2 in. x 72 in. (209.55 cm x 182.88 cm). Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase 2008.9.2

  • Lureca Outland, American, 1904 – 2008, Active Boligee, Greene County, Alabama, Roman Stripes Britchy Quilt, ca. 1989, Polyester, cotton, cotton/ polyester blend, wool, wool/polyester blend, 90 x 65 1/2 inches (228.6 cm x 166.37 cm). Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase 2004.21.15

  • Plummer T Pettway, American, 1918 – 1993, Active Gee's Bend, Wilcox County, Alabama, Housetop/Strip Quilt, ca. 1960–1970, Cotton/ polyester blend, polyester, cotton, wool, 85 1/2 x 85 inches (217.17 cm x 215.9 cm). Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Gift of Kempf Hogan in honor of Robert Johns and Patrick Balch 2005.9.7

  • Yvonne Wells, American, born 1939, Active Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Rosa Parks I, 2005, Cotton/ polyester blend, polyester, cotton, plastic buttons, 89 1/2 x 73 inches (227.33 cm x 185.42 cm). Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase 2008.9.6