Quilts were not unknown to museums in 1971; since the 1920s some museums had featured high-style early American quilts in their period rooms atop colonial furnishings. Other museums owned quilts with ties to prominent families. But quilts like this one—utilitarian, economically pieced together, without an orderly pattern—had not gained appreciation from museums and curators. In his biography of the exhibition, Holstein recounted that this quilt had reminded him of “abstract cityscapes of painters such as Lyonel Feininger” and realized “with awe and delight what economy of means had produced this incredible composition” (Abstract Design, 149).
Possibly made in
IQM, Jonathan Holstein/Gail van der Hoof Collection