Amazing 1864 Civil War quilt

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
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Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
ZoaveQuilt.jpg


I went to an exhibit on quilts yesterday at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This amazing Civil War quilt was there and I had to share it! The maker of the quilt is unknown, but they believe it came from the Philadelphia area. Analysis of the quilt shows that, among the over 40 different types of fabric used are red and blue fabrics woven for Zouave uniforms. The museum information on the quilt says they think the maker was, in part, inspired by images of the War seen in popular magazines. The top central block, for instance, is thought to be an image of General Grant at Vicksburg taken from Harper's weekly.

Wouldn't it be cool to figure out more about this amazing quilt? I'm assuming the AK in the one block is initials. The block to the right of that with the top hatted man looking at a paper with 1861 on it could also be a great clue. And does anybody recognize the image bottom center? It looks like it is showing something specific also.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
The MFA is one of my favorite places--I went to school across the Fens from it--but I never know that it had a quilt collection! Looking online, it has quite a nice one. Was this a special exhibit or part of a regular showing? I don't recognize the square but why not contact the appropriate curator? It looks like it may have been on the market somewhat recently so there was likely research by the department.
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OK, I've since done some research online. The quilt is part of a special exhibit called Fabric of a Nation. The quilts are on loan from the private collection of "Pilgrim and Roy" (founding members of the American Quilter's Society and designers of the interior of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky). Now I've learned another new thing: the only quilter's museum that I knew of is the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA). Surely Pilgrim and Roy may have more information than is on the display cards of the MFA; Googling their name may result in contact information.
 
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lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
The MFA is one of my favorite places--I went to school across the Fens from it--but I never know that it had a quilt collection! Looking online, it has quite a nice one. Was this a special exhibit or part of a regular showing? I don't recognize the square but why not contact the appropriate curator? It looks like it may have been on the market somewhat recently so there was likely research by the department.
~~~~~~~~~
OK, I've since done some research online. The quilt is part of a special exhibit called Fabric of a Nation. The quilts are on loan from the private collection of "Pilgrim and Roy" (founding members of the American Quilter's Society and designers of the interior of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky). Now I've learned another new thing: the only quilter's museum that I knew of is the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA). Surely Pilgrim and Roy may have more information than is on the display cards of the MFA; Googling their name may result in contact information.
Sorry I wasn't fast enough to tell you it's a special exhibit! There were a lot of excellent quilts but this one seemed perfect for us
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Sorry I wasn't fast enough to tell you it's a special exhibit! There were a lot of excellent quilts but this one seemed perfect for us
Because our historical society has a rather spiffy collection of quilts--including a Civil War quilt--I was quite interested. Not a quilter myself, I'm becoming a quilt groupie (😊) and have just contacted the expert in our group. How fortunate that you went to that exhibit and spotted the quilt. Did you take that picture?
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
Because our historical society has a rather spiffy collection of quilts--including a Civil War quilt--I was quite interested. Not a quilter myself, I'm becoming a quilt groupie (😊) and have just contacted the expert in our group. How fortunate that you went to that exhibit and spotted the quilt. Did you take that picture?
I did take the picture. I'm descended from a long line of quilters and have made a few myself. It's a wonderful art.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
I did take the picture. I'm descended from a long line of quilters and have made a few myself. It's a wonderful art.
You're also a good photographer! Our historical society has a quilt show every other year (this summer was the latest) which has been quite enlightening (I'm not a quilter but part of the manual laboring staff of set up, etc.). I never knew how many styles there were until one lady--a collector of quilts who had moved here from Pennsylvania--brought in several from her collection. The were totally different in subject, style, coloring and feeling from the New England quilts. Like the one you photographed, her PA quilts were quite colorful and vibrant.
 

lupaglupa

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Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
As a Quilt Widower, from the time and amount of work that my wife puts into a quilt, this one is amazing. She started on a Civil War Quilt for me and it's completion took longer than the actual Civil War did.
I have a grandmother's flower garden quilt made by my grandmother. It's a coupe rows short from it's intended size because my grandmother said she just couldn't take it anymore! I have the blocks in my attic she pieced but never added. Hand quilting is a time consuming hobby.
 
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