Restoration of MMofA’s American Quilt Collection
The crazy quilts now on view in MMofA’s exhibition of American art are all made in the South and some in Mobile and have not seen the light of day for over 40 years. That’s because their condition was so poor, all of them suffering from missing stitches, torn or disintegrating fabric, damage from insects, and other misfortunes due to the vagaries of time.
There is no value in storing works of art in a museum that cannot be viewed by the public. That’s why we made a concerted effort to find the funds to have the crazy quilts lovingly conserved and restored.
We have one more that needs restoration. The crazy quilt currently on view under glass in the center of the quilt installation is of special value to our community as it is a commemorative quilt. Its ribbons, embroidery, and images all relate to Mobile and its civic and public organizations and cultural history. This quilt cannot be exhibited as is; you can see how frail and damaged it is. The other 19th century crazy quilts in the gallery were in the same poor shape but were brought back to life through the painstaking and expensive process of conservation. Fabrics must be rewoven, threads dyed to match, and missing cloth replaced with nearly-exact, historically correct replicas.
MMofA Board Member Dr. William E. Barrick has donated $1,000 towards our $15,000 goal for our quilt restoration. “Quilts have always been a part of my family,” he said. “My grandmother, mother, aunt, twin-sister and niece have always been quilters. Over the years, I have treasured quilts that have been handed down to me by my family.” Dr. Barrick and his wife have generously led the way with the project’s first significant gift, for which we are grateful!
Please consider making a donation for the restoration of this Mobile treasure. Once its material and integrity are restored, it will take its rightful place as one of the most beautiful and expertly crafted works of art produced in our city. Donations can be made by filling out the form below, or consider dropping a dollar or two in the box in the gallery on your next visit.