Thursday, January 23, 2014

See Lincoln: Picture to Win Contest

We're excited to be partnering up with the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and other local museums for the "See Lincoln: Picture to Win Contest."

Here's how the contest works:
  1. Snap a photo at the place specified by the attraction.  
  2. Go to the attraction's Facebook page and "like them". 
  3. Upload your photo on the attraction's Facebook page.
Every following Monday one winner will be announced.

We will be the featured museum next week, Jan. 28-Feb. 2. We're asking visitors to snap a photo in our new exhibition, "Expanding the Collection: Recent Acquisitions." Once you take the picture, post it on our Facebook page and you're entered to win. The grand prize winner will receive a year-long family membership to the museum. You can read details about our memberships here.

To give you a photo op ideas for your own visit to the gallery, we snapped photos of a few of our team members:

Jonathan Gregory, assistant curator of exhibitions,
with "Time for Supper" by Eiko Okano.
IQSCM 2012.038.0003

Carolyn Ducey, curator of collections, with
"Cellular Structure VIII (Oval Shift)" by Sue Benner.
IQSCM 2013.047.0001

Alice Kinsler, interim executive director,
with "Event Horizon" by Joy Saville.
IQSCM 2011.005.0001

Jonathan and Carolyn with a Child's Cap,
made in Kutch, Gujarat, India.
IQSCM: 2009.052.0001

See - it'll be easy and fun. We're excited to check out the photos you come up with.

View the other museums participating in "See Lincoln: Picture to Win Contest."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FOR KIDS - The Engineer Who Could

Nebraska Quiltmaker Ernest B. Haight is known for his prolific career -- making more than 300 quilts in his lifetime. As a trained engineer, he is also famous for his precise and efficient piecing and quilting processes.

You can see his skill displayed in this quilt, which is now on display in "The Engineer Who Could: Ernest Haight's Half Century of Quiltmaking."

Interlocking Triangles, machine pieced and quilted by Ernest B. Haight, dated 1984,
90" x 74", IQSCM 2001.005.0001, Nebraska State Quilt Guild Collection.

If you take a closer look at the quilt, you'll also see a variety of colorful, patterned fabrics.

Look even closer:

Examining the fabrics and shapes used in Ernest's quilts can be a fun way to engage children who are viewing this and other exhibitions. We encourage our youngest visitors to tell us what they find while looking at quilts:

  • What shapes do you see? Triangles! Squares!

  • What colors do you see? Yellow! Blue! Green! Pink!

  • What patterns do you see on the fabrics? Flowers! Checkers! Spots!

For this exhibition, we have an "I Spy" worksheet available for children to use while looking at Ernest's Untitled (Tumbling Blocks). Made in 1968, the fabrics feature everything from polka dots to trains.

Once children find all of the hidden pictures in the quilt, they can return the worksheet to our Welcome Desk and earn a sticker to take home with them.

As a farmer, Ernest was also fond of wearing overalls. We created this coloring sheet to give children an opportunity to design their own pair of overalls fit for a quilter and engineer.

You can download a copy of the coloring page here.

If you and your family visit IQSCM in person, be sure to ask for a Quilt Explorer bag at the front desk. Each bag contains worksheets, books and other activities for our youngest visitors to use during their museum experience.

For more information about Ernest Haight - The Engineer Who Could -- visit the online exhibition and watch this video series.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Five Questions with Marin Hanson - World Quilts: The American Story

In December, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum launched “The American Story,” the first module of the World Quilts website. We asked Marin Hanson, our curator of exhibitions and a member of the website’s curatorial team, five questions about the new project.

Why did IQSCM create World Quilts?

World Quilts is an important project for a couple of primary reasons: 1. We've been collecting, researching and producing exhibitions on worldwide quiltmaking traditions since our inception in 1997. Sharing that information with as broad an audience as possible is a critical part of our mission, which leads to 2. Our website is -- and always has been -- one of the best ways of reaching our audiences, whether it's quilt enthusiasts, history buffs, art lovers, teachers -- whoever. Delivering the information online means we can not only reach a broader audience, but dig in a lot deeper and present more information and images than we could in a physical exhibition.

We launched the World Quilts project with the "American Story" module because American quilts form the core of our collection. We also felt the site would fill a need for a clearinghouse of scholarly, yet accessible information on American quilts. A "one-stop-shop," so to speak. But we cannot wait to start adding other modules that address quiltmaking traditions in other parts of the world. As our collection and research expand across the globe, so will World Quilts.

The website focuses on four main categories: business, creativity, identity and engagement. How did you decide on these sections?

We wanted to present American quilt history thematically rather than chronologically. Quilts represent so much more than single stops along a history timeline. They hold meanings that transcend time periods. As we brainstormed a structure for the website, those four themes rose to the top. They seemed to summarize so many of the meanings that quilts hold for people.

What do you hope people take away from the website when they visit?

I hope they will appreciate the richness of American quilt history, and the applicability it has to so many different disciplines: history, sociology, political science, art, etc. And I hope they will use the site in  different ways: for scholarly research, classroom learning, design inspiration or just plain fulfillment of curiosity! Indeed, I hope some people will use it sort of like Wikipedia: hopping around from page to page as their interests and curiosity suggest.

What is your favorite part of the website?

I'm excited to see what words get added to the tag cloud! On the homepage, visitors can add their own word answering the question, "What do quilts mean to you?"

What’s up next for the World Quilts website?

We are already planning for future modules -- some areas of the world we'd like to address in the near future include East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia. Stay tuned!

Learn more about the project and its contributors here.

Read more about the project on UNL Today.

Marin Hanson is the Curator of Exhibitions at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She holds undergraduate degrees from Grinnell College and Northern Illinois University and earned her MA in museum studies and textile history with a quilt studies emphasis from UNL. Hanson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK) and is focusing her doctoral research on cross-cultural quiltmaking practices, with particular emphasis on China and the United States. She is also leading the effort to expand the IQSCM collections to include representative examples of quiltmaking and patchwork from all corners of the globe..

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quilt of the Month: January 2014 - The Reconciliation Quilt

To kick-off a new year and a new Quilt of the Month series, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum staff decided to share one of the gems of our collection for January: The Reconciliation Quilt.

Previously featured in our inaugural exhibition, Quilts in Common: Around the Globe & Across the Centuries, it is one of the most well-known and popular in our collection of more than 4,000 quilts.

Created by Lucinda Ward Honstain in 1867 in Brooklyn, NY, The Reconciliation Quilt is considered a premiere example of American Folk Art. The album-style quilt illustrates one quiltmaker's awareness of the lengths necessary for a once-divided nation to reunite in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War.

"In forty blocks, the maker depicted domestic, political, and social life. Blocks such as the one of a black man announcing "Master, I am free" and one depicting the reconciliation of Jefferson Davis and his daughter document one woman's perceptions of important national news."
- World Quilts, "The American Story"

The quiltmaker also depicts elements of her everyday life in Brooklyn by including a picture of her red brick home. And a young woman riding a black horse, which may represent her daughter, Emma:

Last year, The Reconciliation Quilt was on display at Homestead National Monument as part of its year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act. In this video, one of our curators and one of Homestead's historians discuss why the quilt is an important part of American history.

Which block on the quilt most grabs your attention? What do you want to know about it?