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Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts

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Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts

Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts

Just 256 miles away from where I live in Mississippi is a small, predominantly black hamlet called Boykin, AL. Perched in the twists and turns of the Alabama River, inspired by the bend in the river that surrounds Boykin, the area is often referred to by its nickname, Gee?s Bend. After emancipation in 1863, the area […]

Image above: Three quilters of Gee’s Bend, taken by Carol M. Highsmith for the Library of Congress on The Spruce. 
We?ve probably all seen a quilt that was inspired by a Gee?s Bend quilt. The geometric shapes and uneven lines, the colorways and imperfect stitching, all together presenting a beautiful work of art. I can remember about 10 years ago when I saw my first Gee?s Bend quilt up close. I was at my neighbor?s house and I walked into the guest room, only to see the most beautiful quilt hanging on the wall. My neighbor mentioned that he had recorded and produced a gospel record by the women of Gee’s Bend and that was their gift to him. It was a Gee?s Bend Work Clothes style quilt, complete with writing on the denim, giving you a small peek at who once wore the discarded jeans. The magnitude of this gift was not lost on the recipient and it is truly cherished by him. The next time I saw a large collection of Gee’s Bend quilts was when my local museum had a show of about 30 of the quilts. I walked through the exhibit overwhelmed, knowing the hard work and community love that went into each piece, but sad to know that some of the women never got to see their hard work and art revered the way it is today.
Styles of Gee?s Bend Quilts
The Work Clothes quilts are my personal favorite, because you get a look at the way fabric was not only repurposed, but also previously worn. From jeans with a worn-out knee, to old work shirts with a missing pocket to pieces of overalls or aprons, each piece is strategically placed to make it a work of art. Other styles include Abstract, the Bricklayer, Patterns, Geometric, and Sears Corduroy. The quilts of Gee?s Bend have been shown all over the world, from museum to museum. If you have the chance, please visit their work in person or on their website, where you can learn how to support their organization. I hope you will take the time to scroll down below to see some of the incredible quilts these phenomenal women have made over the years. —Erin 

–The Quilts of Gee?s Bend — It?s a beautiful coffee table book, full of so much more history.

–Gee?s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt — This book shares the story of the women that make up the Gee?s Bend legacy.

–Souls Grown Deep — A non-profit organization that documents, preserves and promotes the work of leading contemporary African American artists from the Southeastern United States.
*Footnote: There are some people that don?t believe quilts of The Underground Railroad really were carrying messages and maps, and while we may never know the truth, I think it?s important...
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Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts Black History Month Spotlight: Gee?s Bend Quilts


Source of news: design sponge
Source of publication: 15-02-2018 18:53
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