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THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND
Extraordinary 20th-Century Quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents The Quilts of Gee's Bend, on view August 9, 2019 through March 15, 2020 in the Elise M. Besthoff Charitable Foundation Gallery. The exhibition features five extraordinary twentieth-century quilts made by the women of Gee's Bend, Alabama that elevate a traditional craft form to masterful work of intentional art. The women's use of bold geometric shapes and a fiercely independent design process brought international acclaim to Gee's Bend quilters.
“The quilts of Gee's Bend are a beloved chapter in the history of American art of the south,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “This exhibition builds upon the NOMA’s enduring commitment to championing and elevating emerging and underrepresented voices in American art.”
From the remote community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, four generations of African-American women produced patchwork quilts that have caught the attention of the world. Using salvaged materials such as scraps from worn-out clothes and feed sacks, the technique of the Gee’s Bend quilters augment pragmatic quilts to masterful works of decided textile design and individual expression. This community of artists, bound together by geographic isolation and enslaved ancestors, passed down through generations an improvisational quilting style has been likened to the spontaneity of jazz compositions.
Works presented in The Quilts of Gee's Bend were acquired by NOMA through the Souls Grown Deep Foundation gift/purchase program, designed to strengthen the representation of African American artists from the Southern United States in the collections of leading museums across the country.
Press-approved images are available here.
About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 works of art encompassing 5,000 years of history. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM, select Fridays from 10 AM to 9 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM. NOMA offers docent-guided tours at 1 PM Tuesday-Sunday. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by more than 85 artists, including several 20th and 21st-century master sculptors. NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public seven days a week: 10 AM to 6 PM. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission courtesy of The Helis Foundation.