Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Maryland Quilt Show at AQSG

Detail of a Baltimore Album quilt in the collection of
Debby Cooney & Ronda McAllen

When I heard that the American Quilt Study Group was meeting
in Maryland in 2018 I knew I was going.

They made some pretty spectacular quilts in Maryland and I knew those Maryland quilt historians would hang some show-stopping examples.

These are all details from Debby & Ronda's BAQ

The woman behind the quilt show, Debby Cooney

Debby found a few albums

And showed a couple of her own collection. This is a crib quilt

I had no idea how small the reverse applique feather was until I saw it in person.

Early medallion center detail

I photographed the labels, which were quite informative
so here's a blurry example

Framed Center Medallion
About 1825
Collection of William Hearn

Private Collection
About the same time.

Reverse Appliqued Wreath
Reverse of the reverse appliqued wreath

In an album top

Peonies from the collection of Brian & Donna Ruppert

With a chintz border

Open Wreath dated 1846 by Carrie L. McCoy of Baltimore

Silk Windmill Blades signed by Mary Kroeger of Baltimore
About 1879. Collection of Stella Rubin

Crib Quilt of chintz swags and laurel leaves
Another from Stella Rubin Antiques

Medallion initialed T.A.C. from Worcester County, Maryland,
Collection of Julianne Hardy

Whitework piece also from Julianne Hardy's collection

Touching Stars with stuffed work quilting
About 1840
William Hearn Collection

Thanks to Debby and the lenders for a show worth the trip.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Political Quilts #7: Tennessee Chintz Quilt for Clay

"La Grange Mill Boys" flag

The Henry Clay quilt list has gotten out of hand.
You can see his popularity by the number of quilts honoring him.
Here's the last post for this election season.

Chintz flag quilt by Elizabeth Willis Gloster Anderson (1796-1873),
 89" x 89". Made perhaps near Memphis, Tennessee
Collection of Ashland, the Clay home in Kentucky, #2005.012.0001

"I had rather be right than be President." H. Clay

Elizabeth embroidered a famous statement made in 1839 by Henry Clay into a quilt top
she made to honor him in 1844. Clay was referring to efforts to appease pro-slavery Southerners.

Henry Clay is the most famous American to lose three Presidential elections. He ran without party affiliation in 1824, as the nominee of the National Republicans in 1832 and the Whigs in 1844. Americans who lived in Kentucky and Tennessee in particular were fans of Henry of the West who represented the state of Kentucky as Representative and Senator.

Elizabeth Willis Gloster Anderson was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, daughter of Irish immigrant Dr. Thomas Ben Gloster. She married John Anderson of Warrenton. Elizabeth and John moved to La Grange, Tennessee in 1827. John died in 1848 and she went to Texas in 1859, dying there in 1862. Elizabeth's grave is in LaGrange. Her papers are in the University of North Carolina's Southern Historical Collection.

Also embroidered onto the quilt are the words
"W.W. Anderson aged 7 years"
Elizabeth Anderson's son William Walker Anderson was born on Dec 8, 1835
making him 7 for most of 1843. See a family Bible here:

Those peacocks are a familiar motif on quilts north and south,
east and west. See more about the chintz here:

I haven't figured out who the LaGrange Mill Boys were but Henry Clay had worked in a mill as a young man so one of his nicknames was the Mill Boy, a link to the working classes. Perhaps the LaGrange Mill Boys were a political club in Tennessee and this was their parade flag.

See more Clay quilts




Friday, October 12, 2018

Political Quilts #6: The Gear Cog Flag

My old friend Julie Powell had a Henry Clay quilt
in her collection for years. Here's a detail of it on the cover of the book
On the Cutting Edge

She donated it to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2013 a few years before her death.

The central feathered star has a portrait of Clay known as the Gear Cog portrait. The presidential candidate is surrounded by a wreath with a gear wheel, indicating his position as a supporter of American industry (He was the poster boy for tarrifs.)

The flag was printed during his 1844 campaign for president.

It's hard to see the navy blue print but it appears to be a common indigo fabric with triple dots....

...similar to this one.
Hard to date as the indigo style print was printed over such a long period of time.
We can guess that the quilt was made sometime in the late 1840s or into the '50s.