Exhibition | New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750–1825

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on May 28, 2022

The exhibition closed earlier this month, but there is an excellent virtual tour still available; from the Florence Griswold Museum:

New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750–1825
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT, 12 February — 1 May 2022

Curated by Lynne Bassett

Attributed to Jerusha Foote Johnson (1755–1831), Colchester, bed rug, 1782, wool (Collection of Rick and Susan Copeland).

The domestic textiles produced in New London County from the mid-18th to early 19th century stand out today as masterpieces of American needle craft. Curated by independent scholar Lynne Z. Bassett, New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750–1825 examines the artistic excellence of these pieces within the context of design inspiration drawn from an array of transatlantic sources and explores the question of how the county fostered such exceptional work.

Quilted petticoats with maritime motifs, bold geometric patterns on bed rugs, sophisticated feathers and fruit stitched on elegant whitework quilts, and patriotic appliqués reveal the range and accomplishment of New London County women. The exhibition unites for the first time examples by these makers, whose names are only sometimes known, but whose textiles survive as evidence of the network of connections between teachers, students, and family members.

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