October 21, 2022 to March 25, 2023
“When one faction of American society is excluded from the master narrative
of our collective histories, the whole society loses.”
Quilts by Black quiltmakers always existed within the greater canon of American quiltmaking as it developed in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Quilts, especially those with a narrative element, have been a particularly vital tool that Black makers use to illustrate Black History.
Today’s Black quiltmakers continue that tradition. Their quilts function “by voicing, in cloth … the struggles and triumphs of a marginalized people,” acting as a means to educate “citizens about important segments of our complex authentic, national history.” The contrast of comforting cloth juxtaposed with disturbing images makes a compelling, educational, and artistic combination.
Collector, scholar, and maker Carolyn Mazloomi sought work by artists with powerful voices as she built her collection. The artists present a variety of Black experiences, some celebrating the achievements of artists, poets, and adventurers, and others protesting the pervasive and harmful racism directed towards people of color in American society.