Since the early nineteenth century the women of Gee’s Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning vibrant quilts In the only photo essay book about the quilts of Gee’s Bend for children award winning author Susan Goldman Rubin explores the history and culture of this fascinating group of women and their unique quilting traditions Rubin uses meticulous research to offer an exclusive look at an important facet of African American art and culture   In the rural community of Gee’s Bend African American women have been making quilts for generations They use scraps of old overalls aprons and bleached cornmeal sacks—anything they can find Their traditions have been passed down through the decades Much to the women’s surprise a selection of the quilts was featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2002 The exhibition then traveled to the Whitney Museum in New York City “Eye poppingly gorgeous” wrote a critic for the New York Times about the exhibition He continued “Some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced” The Metropolitan Museum of Art will exhibit its newly acquired collection of Gee’s Bend quilts in 2017   Rubin is known for producing well researched highly praised and sophisticated biographies of artists and other important figures Through similar research The Quilts of Gee’s Bend shares specifics about this rare community and its rich traditions allowing children to pause to consider history through the eyes of the people who lived it and through a legacy that is passed on to the next generation   This book should be of great interest to classrooms libraries and those interested in African American art in the United States in addition to quilting life in early emancipated colonies in the South and Gee’s Bends importance in the Civil Right’s movement The quilts and the incredible stories behind them are powerful motivators for anyone who wishes to accomplish anything A map directions on how to make a quilt square endnotes and an index round out this stunning nonfiction book

10 thoughts on “The Quilts of Gee's Bend

  1. says:

    Impulse choice at the library Thought I'd skim for the pix but the text is fascinating I mean for example I know that tenant farmers have had it hard but the author makes clear that because blacks were powerless in some ways some of them could become even worse off than their slave ancestorsAnd the pictures of the quilts are indeed wonderfulAnd there's no reason that many of us couldn't use scraps remnants worn out clothes both from our own household and from thrift charity shops to make similar quilts The three patchwork quilts that I made for my sons were easy thrifty and are still beloved nothing artful like these ladies' creations but something anyone could doLots of back matter including instructions how to get started making your own But I think the instructions are unclear you'll likely want to use one of the myriad other books or online tutorials when you beginBtw there are two kinds of quilting Here we're talking about patchwork quilts The kind of bed covering you buy in a store with stitching all over a solid piece of fabric is something else not nearly as interesting or budget or earth friendly