Quilts As A Key To History | WYPR

Quilts As A Key To History

Oct 29, 2014

Mary Simon-Style Baltimore Album Quilt Top. Unknown maker.
Credit DAR Museum

A quilt is not only a thing of beauty, it’s a key to history – and to the personality of its maker.  From a quilt we might be able to guess at where the maker lived, and her station in life.  We can tell the maker’s favorite color, favorite fabric, favorite designs, and most of all--her artistry--not only her skill with a needle, but also her fine eye.  A new exhibition now up at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Museum in D.C.—and online--seeks to tell us about the ‘maker’ herself.  It’s called “Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland & Virginia,” and features more than 30 quilts made between 1790 and 1850. Alden O’Brien, the exhibit’s curator, joins Sheilah from her office at the DAR Museum.