AMERICAN CRAZY QUILTS
WHEN: June 3 through November 29, 2015
WHERE: renovated American Wing, Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore
The Baltimore Museum of Art will feature seven lavish quilts—a kaleidoscope of silks, velvets, and brocades embroidered with colorful threads—in American Crazy Quilts. Embellished with paint, ribbons, and beads, the crazy quilts on view from the late 1880s have a delightfully arbitrary quality that belies the skillful planning that went into making them. This “crazy” style was the epitome of sophistication at the height of the Victorian era.
Making a crazy quilt provided women an opportunity to produce an article for the home that was truly artistic, and according to the era’s philosophy, morally and spiritually uplifting. Though they appear randomly pieced together, crazy quilts’ asymmetrical patterns were unique labors of love and skillfully planned. The time and energy involved in making these quilts was considerable. “It was commenced July 24th, 1883 while staying at Grand Ma's, Mt. Holly,” wrote Marylander Augusta Adele Smith Jones about her quilt on view in the exhibition. “Finished February 13th, 1888 at my home, 1911 Eutaw Place.”