Our gallery hosts a wide and eclectic mix of textiles, furnishings, fine art, jewelry, pottery, basketry, and of course, Visvim. This past week some of the most eccentric and incredible pieces came in: including an enormous display case, fine art from the early 20th century and this gorgeous Folk Art quilt (pictured below).
Folk Art quilt c. 1890
Folk Art is a fascinating way for us learn more about the aesthetic influences of the 1890’s- 1910’s. This quilt was made c. 1890 and features an American flag motif. We also see some of the finest Navajo pictorial textiles of this period featuring similar motifs (one of our favorites, pictured above). A NY Times article on the subject of folk art quilts likens them to Navajo blankets as “many can be counted amongst the earliest abstract art in post-conquest North America.” **
Both quilts and Navajo blankets were forms of free expression, especially during this transitional period. Many Folk Art quilts from this period would adapt a common pattern in order to free it from its typical or rigid structure. The quilt above takes the American flag and alters it in order express this freedom, similarly the Navajo textile does not stick to the archetypal flag image.
Like vintage Navajo textiles, they were originally utilitarian and now generally function as collectible artworks. Please inquire if you’d like any further information!
** Smith, Roberta. “Downsizing in a Burst of Glory.” NY Times, 12 May 2011. Web. 12 April 2013.