|New display showcases the region’s bedcover-making traditions from the 1700s to 1950|
The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers showcases the region’s bedcover-making traditions from the 1700s to 1950. The exhibit at the BRI is up through the spring of 2013.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Over 50 of Southwest Virginia's finest old quilts and coverlets take center stage in a new exhibition at Ferrum College's Blue Ridge Institute & Museum.
The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up: Historic Quilts & Bedcovers showcases the region's bedcover-making traditions from the 1700s to 1950. The exhibition runs now through the spring of 2013 in the institute's DuPont Gallery on the Ferrum College campus. Admission is free.
Western Virginia's vintage bedcovers tell a 150-year saga of rural women, inventors, soldiers, publishers and even hog feed salesmen. The Great Western Virginia Cover-Up includes premier examples of historic "whitework" spreads, album quilts, Virginia Rose quilts, crazy quilts and feed sack quilts. Also on display is one of five known Virginia bed rugs, dated 1833.
"Southwest Virginians began making homespun material in the 18th century, and by 1800, they could buy an amazing variety of fabrics in backcountry stores," said BRI Executive Director Roddy Moore. "They turned these resources into countless quilts, coverlets, blankets and spreads -- most of which were eventually worn out and discarded."
"These beautiful quilts and coverlets are the survivors," said the exhibition's guest curator, Natalie Norris. "They are here today because the people who made and owned them saw these pieces as special -- and rightly so."
Featuring 32 quilts and 20 coverlets and blankets, the Great Western Virginia Cover-Up draws from the collections of the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum as well as regional museums, historical societies and private collectors. Most of the pieces have never been exhibited. In conjunction with the exhibition, the BRI plans to hold a series of regional quilt documentation days over the next year.
The Blue Ridge Institute & Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., year-round; and Sunday, 1 to 4:30 p.m., mid-May through mid-August. For more information, call (540) 365-4412 or visit www.blueridgeinstitute.org.