Sunday, December 6, 2015

'Making The Australian Quilt: 1800-1950' exhibition - 22 July – 6 November 2016

Misses Hampson
The Westbury quilt 1900-1903
cotton, hand-embroidered, hand-appliqued
223 x 191 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased through the Australian Textiles Fund 1990

‘Making the Australian Quilt: 1800 –1950’ is the first major exhibition of its kind to explore the rich and largely unseen works that constitute Australia’s quilt heritage. Exclusive to Melbourne, the exhibition includes more than eighty works from around the country. Key works such as The Rajah Quilt, and examples by renowned makers Mary Jane Hannaford, Marianne Gibson and Amelia Brown will be shown alongside a number of recently discovered pieces not exhibited before. They include quilts, coverlets, garments and quilted, patched and pieced works made in Australia or with a significant Australian provenance. The exhibition also features key 19th century English quilts that were brought or sent to Australia, informing and influencing the early quilting practices of local makers.
Annie Ellis
Australia 1870–1967
Dressing gown 1935
silk, wool, cotton, viscose, rayon, metallic thread
(a) 128.0 cm (centre back), 51.0 cm (sleeve length) (dressing gown)
(b) 242.0 x 10.0 cm diameter (variable) (belt)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs Annie C. Champion, 1989 (CT136.a-b-1989)
With works drawn from public and private collections throughout Australia, visitors to this unprecedented exhibition will have a rare opportunity to experience the aesthetic impact, technical skill and powerful storytelling capacity of this fascinating art form. The material used in the creation of the work is diverse and telling of the creative resourcefulness of their makers. Taffeta, velvet, furnishing fabric, dressmaking scraps, flour bags, possum skins, suiting samples and flannelette has each been transformed by the act of cutting, layering, piecing and stitching.
Unknown, Australia
Possum skin rug (late 19th century – early 20th century)
possum skin
250.0 x 180.0 cm
Private collection, Sydney
Many of the pieces were created within an intimate, private setting, yet have the ability to convey much more of their broader social and historical significance. The exhibition encompasses quilts made by men and women, those made within the context of leisure and accomplishment, created as expressions of love and family connection and those stitched out of necessity in an environment of constraint and hardship.
Mary Jane Hannaford
born England 1840, emigrated to Australia 1842, died 1930
Wedding quilt 1922
cotton, wool, applique, glass (beads), sequins
169.0 x 195.0 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gift of Miss Swanson 1997 (NGV 97.1336)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full colour catalogue and has been co-curated by renowned quilt historian and collector Dr Annette Gero and Katie Somerville, Senior Curator Fashion and Textiles, NGV. Multimedia will be used within the exhibition space to provide a better understanding of the process of quilt making and the stories behind the works on display.

A special opening weekend symposium exploring Australian quilt making leads the extensive range of public programs offered for ‘Making the Australian Quilt’. Other programs include talks, practical workshops and creative activities that allow a deeper exploration of the art, history and heritage of quilting in Australia.

22 July – 6 November 2016
Open 10am to 5pm daily
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

1 comment:

  1. I want to say I loved the exhibition. Thank you for putting it on and for the preservation of all the quilts.


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