A Survey of Gee's Bend Quilts

Quilting has been a longstanding tradition among the women of Gee's Bend - a small town on Alabama River where cotton plantation owner Joseph Gee's land was located. Until the Roosevelt era, the community lived in log cabins where one could "see the stars" and feel the wind and rain through gaps in the ceilings and walls. At the same time, quilting was a rare opportunity for creative personal expression. Divided into four sections, this show explores into the history, aesthetics, artistic influence and the future of Gee's Bend quilts. Until recently, the quilts of Gee's Bend were the exclusive products of thrift and necessity, assembled from discarded fabric scraps and created to "keep the children warm." Yet these internationally esteemed quilts have also been lauded in The New York Times as "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced" and call into question the old paradigm of what constitutes art.

This exhibition is organized by the Tinwood Alliance of Atlanta, a non-profit foundation established by William Arnett for the support of African-American vernacular art.

Major sponsorship provided by the Nevada Museum of Art Volunteers In Art.

Media Sponsorship by KNPB Public Broadcasting.,/strong>

Additional funding provided by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Supported by Stimulus Funding from the Nevada Arts Council’s SNAP Grant Program. Supported by Stimulus Funding from the Nevada Arts Council’s SNAP Grant Program.


Nettie Young, Sampler Quilt, early 1970s. Corduroy, 84 x 77 inches. Courtesy of Tinwood Alliance.

Mary Lee Bendolph, Blocks and Strips, 2006. Denim, cotton/polyester twill, polyester, 79 x 72 inches. Courtesy of Tinwood Alliance.