Through Sept. 2: Patterns and Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Patterns and Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women
March 28 – September 02, 2024
Washington D.C.
In the late nineteenth century, Amish women adopted an art form already established within the larger American culture and made it distinctly their own. They pushed cultural limitations by innovating within a community that values adherence to rules, and developed community and familial preferences. The quilts in Pattern and Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women, all made between 1880 and 1950, remain among the most recognized manifestations of Amish culture, representing the historical, localized trends of only a finite period from a living and changing culture. The exhibition celebrates the quilts, the women who made them, and considers their unique role in American art today.

Unidentified Maker​​, Crazy Star; ca. 1920​​, Arthur, Illinois​​, cotton and wool; 74 x 63 ½ in. (detail), Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown, Promised gift to the Smithsonian American Art Museum (photo from exhibition website)




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