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Quilts of Gee's Bend: Masterpieces from a Lost Place

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2004

    Magnificent art, heroic and inspiring life stories

    I look at many museum and gallery shows in New York. By far, this is my VERY FAVORITE book of ART, even though there are many historically well-known artists whose work I enjoy looking at and am inspired by. I have always loved reading about artists' lives (especially in their own words), looking at fabric design and one-of-a kind quilts, especially African American 'crazy quilts'. Use of color is also an important interest of mine that this book strongly relates to. Each of the many times I have looked through this book, it is a fresh experience to find some new and subtle combination of colors that only an artist with a sophisticated aesthetic sense would come up with. Many of these quilts were made with only recycled clothing, all that was available, or scraps from textile factories. I had very much wanted to see the show at the Whitney, but was unable to, so I was not in the least disappointed when I grabbed this book. The women's brief but revealingly detailed comments about personal histories of themselves or other family quiltmakers is what makes this book so special to me in addition to the artworks. To realize that such beautiful art developed under such harsh living conditions (from childhood these strong, intelligent, and amazing women worked 10+ hours in the field, cared for their children, and lived with no heat, etc.) is helpful for any creative person to meditate on and use as a motivating example in your own creative work, whatever it is. The quilts of Gee's Bend range from some traditional patterns altered intuitively into minimal abstract painting style with sensitive color use, and others 'randomly' combining an aesthetically effective 'chaos' of colors and patterns with little geometric symmetry. This book does not give written pattern instructions; however, when I finally get around to making my own quilt, it will be designed and guided primarily and foremost by my study of the quilts of Gee's Bend. The author/editors writings are informative and progressive in their recognition of these quilts that are nicely illustrated with large-page color photos. I'm an avid reader (book fanatic) and this is the first time I have written a review, so you know how much I love this book! [P.S. to BN webmaster: my corrections on separating this into shorter paragraphs and puncuation corrections on 'chaos', 'crazy quilts', and 'randomlY' - all should be quotation marks or italics, not single quotation marks -- DID NOT GO THRU even after several attemps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    Free your mind, and a quilt will follow

    The power and passion of these utilitarian bits of neccesity is astounding. Most are not precision pieced, nor are they ornately and intricately adorned with 12 stitches per inch, but oh! They are awesome and intimidating nonetheless! I was inspired. The quilts teach us of the ingenuity, perseverance, and history of the Gee's Bend residents, and other post-slavery African-Americans by proxy. I must have the comprehensive book. If you think you are a quilter, I challenge you to not find yourself "redefined" after perusing this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2006

    these quilts are visually beautiful, awesome

    i saw a display of these quilts in person, at the milwaukee art museum, where many of the quiltmakers were also gathered together for recognition....i love the colors, designs, ingenuity, perseverence, overcoming of life's obsacles that these quilts represent.....they are an inspiration to me as an artist, and as a fellow survivor....

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