How Quiltmaking’s Deep Traditions Are Influencing Contemporary Art

Dawn Williams Boyd, Bad Blood: Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments – Macon County, AL 1932 – 1972, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Fort Gansevoort.

As Isis Davis-Marks states in her Artsy article, quiltmaking has long been viewed as a mere utilitarian craft. Recently, this view has been challenged thanks to exhibitions honoring the quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. From Faith Ringgold to Bisa Butler, artists have recognized the important history of quiltmaking, and its important role in African American history is finally being honored.

"Quilts’ inherent associations with warmth, nostalgia, and community make them particularly appealing now, in the midst of the pandemic and widespread division and inequity." - Isis Davis-Marks