‘Piece by Piece’ showcases quilting traditions
English-style pieced quilt medallion from the 1950s. Provided by McKissick Museum.
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is proud to present the seventh rendition of its Diverse Voices exhibition series, “Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection.”
On display through July 18, 2020 “Piece by Piece” illustrates the evolution of this textile tradition over the past 150 years. From the early use of chintz fabrics to the widespread popularity of solid colors, these quilts reflect traditions with roots in Europe, Africa, and the American South. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 40+ quilts over the course of the show, chosen from McKissick Museum’s extensive quilt collection.
Because of the fragile nature of historical textiles, individual quilts will be only be displayed for a limited time, with three rotations occurring throughout the year, according to the museum.
Throughout the exhibition, panels explore the lives of these textile artists like quiltmaker Hattie Mitchell Grubbs, who was born in Barnwell and lived to be 97.
Saddler Taylor, McKissick’s chief curator of folklife and fieldwork, is excited about the exhibition.
“Quilts carry a strong sense of familial intimacy and human connection. It’s strangely ironic that we know so little about many of the makers. This exhibition features beautiful examples of Southern quilts; but more importantly, we want to tell the story of some of the makers. Only then can the quilts be fully appreciated,” Taylor said.
“Piece by Piece” is accompanied by a robust programming calendar, beginning with an opening reception with light refreshments on Sept. 12, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m. This free reception will feature a curator-led gallery talk beginning at 6 p.m.
Oct. 9-20 2019
This year, our signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s rich textile arts heritage, including Native American, African American, and Mennonite quilting traditions, in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. You’re invited to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home! Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, concerts and hands-on music workshops. You won’t want to miss the chance to try your hand at making a story quilt block or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. FOLKFabulous 2019 is free with SC State Fair admission.
Lunch & Learn: “Quilts and the Stories of My Life” with Peggie Hartwell
Oct. 14, 2019 (12-1 p.m.)
Grab your lunch and learn more about the life and work of 2017 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winner Peggie Hartwell. Peggie is a fourth-generation African-American quilter and textile educator who is nationally recognized for her unique storytelling form. Lunch & Learn events are free and open to the public; space is limited.
Lunch & Learn: “Interpreting Civil War Quilts: It Gets Complicated” with Jane Pryzybysz
Nov. 13, 2019 (12-1 p.m.)
Explore the interpretation of civil war era quilts with McKissick Museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Jane Pryzybysz.
An Afternoon with Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi (Fall 2019)
Recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship and Founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network.
The Quilt History Project – A Look Back (Fall 2019)
Laurel Horton, lead scholar on McKissick Museum’s Quilt History Project in 1984-1986.
Quilt Documentation Days (Spring 2020)
Dr. Jane Przybysz, Executive Director, McKissick Museum.
Quilts and Wellbeing (Spring 2020)
Marsha MacDowell, textile scholar and project director of The Quilt Index. Faculty, Michigan State University, Curator of Folk Arts at the Michigan State University Museum.
Lunch & Learn: “The Blythewood Survey Project” (Spring 2020)
Kem Smith, project director for the Blythewood Quilt Survey Project.
McKissick’s calendar of events is updated frequently and available online. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated. “Piece by Piece” and associated programming is made possible through support from the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.