Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shelburne Museum Report

I've been to lots of museums to see quilts but I was totally caught off guard by my reaction to the quilt exhibit Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War at the Shelburne Museum. I cried! I was overwhelmed by the very first quilt I saw: it was SO beautiful, so exquisite, it had provenance, it was in perfect condition - things you rarely see all in one quilt together.

The tears continued as I continued through the exhibit. Quilt after quilt just overwhelmed me - they were so fantastic and so, so heart-wrenching, such personal testimony of the horrible sorrow of the war.

I felt a bit justified at my reaction when I read about the exhibit online: Each object represents a deeply moving and insightful personal story, from the noose reportedly used to hang abolitionist John Brown, to a quilt made by a wounded soldier from hospital blankets, as well as Confederate gray and Union blue uniform fabrics.

Photography wasn't allowed so these photos are courtesy of the Shelburne - but there is a book for sale here. There's a facebook page about it too with more info. These quilts will be on display at the Shelburne until January 4. good news for us - it will be in Lincoln, NE next February.

The Shelburne also had recent work by Nancy Crow on display. She's making monoprints, her artist statement read in part: Loosening up. Feeling the thrill ... Seeking beauty. Believing. Self portraits of who I am. 

I loved it. The Shelburne has so much to see but that was all I could take in one afternoon ...


  1. Thanks for the report-I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit when it comes to Lincoln, NE this winter!

    1. woa this is great news. where will it be on display?

  2. Virginia - THANKS for the news - i updated the info. I am so excited i'll get to see it again!

  3. I just got my mailing from Shelburne about this show--I can't wait to see it! My quilt guild made quilts recently to commemorate the War of 1812 (I'm can't remember if you saw any of the posts I did) so I'll be very interested in seeing more quilts with a war connection. The whole show sounds terrific--thanks for the review!