Episcopal Church Guild Crazy Quilt, 1880 (2001.59.1)
Created 140 years ago by the Episcopal Church Guild, this Victorian-era silk crazy quilt is a good example of the virtual explosion of color, texture and design that was the hallmark of the style. Encompassing over thirty square feet, the bed covering features 143 blocks arranged in thirteen rows of eleven blocks each. Won at an auction by Mary Jane Simmons Tanner (“Mrs. Alfred”), it was later owned by her daughter, Lottie Lee Tanner Martin. Lottie Lee was born in 1874 and married J. K. (Kenneth) Martin, a prominent banker and businessman, in Little Falls when she was twenty-six. The quilt has a newer-looking machine-stitched gold ribbon border with a solid blue backing. The riot of color, fabric and thread in the design features everything from patchwork, embroidery and applique to simple solid blocks. The frenzied nature of the design perhaps unknowingly reflects the frenetic pace of the world as the Industrial Revolution was taking off. It was an age of rapid transformation.
What art forms being created today will become the storytellers of our current era? What forms would you choose?