American Quilts and Coverlets in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Newly Available from Yale

This handsome book showcases the Metropolitan Museum’s superb collection of 151 American quilts and coverlets. First published in 1990 and revised in 2007 to feature 32 new acquisitions and updated scholarship, this volume chronicles the development of quilt and coverlet production in the United States from the 18th through the 20th centuries, provides a glimpse into the lives of the makers and recipients of these pieces, and discusses their emergence as works of art.

Notable pieces include the Phebe Warner and the Baltimore Presentation coverlets, Amish, Crazy, and Honeycomb quilts that exemplify achievement in abstract and geometric patterns, along with the Adeline Harris Sears Autograph Quilt, a memorial to the greatest politicians, composers, authors, and thinkers of the mid-19th century. Each work is catalogued with a description and essential information on materials, condition, publications, and references. Also included is an illustrated survey of materials and techniques used in the creation of these works.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Serious studies of American quilts and coverlets have kept pace with the booming disciplines of material culture and women's history since the 1980s. Recent works of note include books about the Gee's Bend quilters and quilting heritage by state, Linda Eaton's Quilts in a Material World, Patricia A. Turner's Crafted Lives, and Kate Lenkowsky's Contemporary Quilt Art. Here, Peck, curator of American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the assistance of research associate Schaffner, updates a catalog published in 1990 of the Met's admirable collection of mostly 19th-century East Coast pieces. The authors highlight 90 works, arranged chronologically by type—appliquéd, pierced, whole cloth, woven, and embroidered. A learned essay by textile conservator Elena Phipps on materials and techniques introduces the catalog portion, which documents all 151 quilts and coverlets in the collection. Two handicrafts are presented on each page, with accompanying color photos, maker, date, dimensions, materials, technique, provenance, description, condition, references, and other notes. VERDICT Attractively presented and modestly priced, this important work is primarily of interest to collectors, artisans, and scholars and researchers of textiles, design, and decorative and folk arts.—Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300159035
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 8/18/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,411,702
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Amelia Peck is Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts and Cynthia V. A. Schaffner is Research Associate, Department of American Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Elena Phipps is Senior Museum Conservator in the Department of Textile Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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