Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, a traveling exhibit, currently at the New York Historical Society, explores how quilts, flags, and other sewn goods communicated the wartime experience. In this episode, curators Lynne Bassett and Margi Hofer discuss how cotton and textiles played a powerful part in the conflict, and how women’s work supported the war effort and eventually helped propel the suffrage movement.
Following the New-York Historical Society presentation, which runs through August 24th, 2014, Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War will travel to the Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, VT, from September 20, 2014 – January 1, 2015; and then to the Nebraska State Historical Society, in Lincoln, NE, From February 1 – June 30, 2015.
Outro music: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung by Odetta
Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the show. Thanks to the New York Historical Society for these beautiful images:
An intricate applique quilt made just before the American Civil War
The “Reconciliation Quilt” made by Lucinda Ward Honstain, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 1867. Check out Slate’s interesting piece on this sampler quilt.
A Quaker dress made of Free Labor fabric.