Enfilade

Quilts at the V&A

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 10, 2010

From the V&A’s website:

Quilts: 1700-2010
The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 20 March — 4 July 2010

Bishops Court quilt, 1690-1700 (V&A no. T.201-1984)

The V&A will present its first ever exhibition of British quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day — a unique opportunity to view the V&A’s unseen quilt collection as well as key national loans. The exhibition will show 65 beautifully crafted quilts, predominantly from the V&A’s own collection but also including a number of important loans and new works by contemporary artists, many of which have been commissioned especially for the show.

Earliest examples include a sumptuous silk and velvet bedcover, with an oral narrative that links it to King Charles II’s visit to an Exeter manor house in the late 17th century. Recent examples will include works by leading artists such as Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin and commissions for the exhibition by a number of contemporary artists including Sue Stockwell and Caren Garfen.

Catalogue by Sue Prichard, ISBN: 978-1851775958 ($60)

The curators have unravelled some of the complex personal narratives and broader historical events documented in the quilts. Examples by both named and unnamed makers will be shown with objects relating to their subject matter and makers including paintings and prints, as well as needlework tools and personal keepsakes. One example is a cot quilt made at Deal castle, displayed for the first time alongside the maker’s diary and portraits of the two grandchildren who slept under it.

There will also be bedcovers that commemorate the lives of prominent figures including Admiral Lord Nelson, Charles II and the Duke of Wellington and important events such as the coronation of Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington’s battle at Vittoria. The exhibition will end with Tracey Emin’s To Meet My Past (2002), a confessional installation which follows the tradition of quilts used as vessels for personal and
collective memories. (more…)