Quilt museum shares collection, knowledge virtually

Released on 01/09/2014, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., January 9th, 2014 —
World Quilts logo
World Quilts logo

            The International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln expanded its global reach by launching a new digital project in December. With more than 4,000 quilts in its collection -- too many to show in any physical gallery -- the museum can now share its quilts and their historical and cultural contexts with visitors virtually.

            "World Quilts," a website that offers a global perspective on quiltmaking, launched "The American Story," its first module. The website showcases the museum's collection and hallmark scholarly perspective on the worldwide significance of quilts and quiltmaking.

            "We've created a clearinghouse of accurate and engaging information about American quilt history by using our unparalleled collection, our more than 15 years of scholarly research, our existing online resources and the resources of other important organizations, such as the American Quilt Study Group, the Quilt Index and the Quilt Alliance," said Marin Hanson, curator of exhibitions and co-editor of the project.

            The website moves existing quilt studies scholarship beyond disciplinary boundaries to integrate quilts within a broader art and humanities context. It serves as an excellent starting place for anyone who wants to learn about the role of quilts in American society, past and present, Hanson said.

            "This new website promises to be an important resource for all who desire to learn about quilts -- whether they are students, teachers, quilt makers, dealers, appraisers or conservators," said Lynne Z. Bassett, costume and textile historian. "I am very glad to have this resource not only for my own education, but to point out to those who come to me for information about American quilts."

            "The American Story" also offers a platform for the museum to share new information as it becomes available, making it a dynamic resource. Future modules are slated to cover other regions of the world.

            "Whether you're a quilt history buff like me, or know very little about American quilts, you'll find riches on every page of the beautiful new website," said Marianne Fons, co-host of "Love of Quilting" on public television and co-founding editor of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine. "Wonderful visuals, solid, entertaining content and links to fascinating extras create a trip around the patchwork globe every quilt enthusiast should take."

            This project was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation, and the support of the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences, Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, and the museum staff.

            View "The American Story" at http://worldquilts.quiltstudy.org/americanstory.

            The International Quilt Study Center and Museum is the home of the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. Established in 1997, the center opened a new museum, Quilt House at 1523 N. 33rd St., in 2008. The privately funded, environmentally sustainable museum houses more than 4,000 quilts and objects, state-of-the-art research and storage space and spacious galleries. The center's mission is to collect, preserve, study, exhibit and promote discovery of quilts and quiltmaking traditions from many cultures, countries and times.

            The International Quilt Study Center is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Writer: Laura Chapman

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