Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


Geometric Abstractions: Quilts 1870 to 1990
  • Geometric Abstractions: Quilts 1870 to 1990
  • 01-Jun-2002 - 18-Aug-2002
  • White Gallery, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

This exhibition will explore geometric patterns in quilts from 1870 to 1990. It will include 14 to 16 various sized quilts from the collection that are chosen for their abstract qualities and overall geometric pattern rather that for their technical or geographical significance.
Many decades before the emergence of Geometric Abstraction in painting, inventive quilt-makers combined triangles, lines, and squares to develop abstract patterns that impress by their interaction of the cloth’s texture, shape, and color. Usually, quilts were made as useful household objects, but their delicate and precise arrangement of patchwork and color transforms them to visually engaging works of art.
The exhibition will include quilts by Harriett Theetge James, Christina Hays Malcom, Anna Gleissner Good, Rose Good Kretsinger and Virginia Randles, as well as works from unknown artists. The chosen quilts will reach from simple arrangements of geometric shapes like in Rose Kretsinger’s Snow Crystals or Yankee Puzzle or Harriett Theedge James’ Tree of Live Variation to complex optical illusions that suggest movement and depth like Log Cabin (Barn Raising) and Virginia Randles’ Spectrum I. Ranging from purely geometric forms to quilts that hover between geometric abstraction and representation the Spencer Museum’s quilts show the variety of geometric quilts.