Great Cover Ups: Quilts of the 19th & 20th Centuries

On view February 6th through April 4th, 2021 in the Stanley Gallery

Not so long ago, quilts were considered among the most elaborate and treasured possessions in the typical American home. Adored for their intrinsic beauty as well as the utility of their warmth, quilts were folded away in 'dowry chests', given as wedding presents, packed to travel with immigrants, and passed from one generation to another.

The quilts in this exhibition are all part of the Muscatine Art Center's permanent collection. Each quilt is celebrated as both a link to a specific family's history and as a representative object from a moment in time. Along with details about the family associated with each quilt, the wonderfully whimsical and imaginative pattern names are also identified. Examples include: Pineapple, Log Cabin, Windmill Blades, Flying Geese, Carpenter's Wheel, Grandmother's Flower Garden, Calico Basket, Court House Steps, Friendship, Nine-Patch, Bear Paw, Lattice, Postage Stamp, Coin, and Sunbonnet Girl.

The top level of the Stanley Gallery features 15-19 'pattern' quilts from the permanent collection, many with a Muscatine connection. The most recent pattern quilt acquisition is "Lone Star" by Sarah Rider Bumgardner, c. 1840. Also featured are several cotton 'prairie style' dresses originally worn by Muscatine pioneer women around the 1850s.

The middle level of the Stanley Gallery features 6 'signature/friendship' quilts, and 5 'crazy' quilts from the permanent collection with a Muscatine connection. One notable 'crazy' quilt is made by Ruth Lamphrey Cadle, c. 1880. Also featured are several silk 'prairie style' dresses originally worn by Muscatine pioneer women around the 1850s.

Those who plan to visit the Muscatine Art Center should be aware of the reduced hours and guidelines. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Reduced hours provide the staff with time to thoroughly sanitize the building. Visitors are asked to wear a mask, sanitize their hands upon entering the building (hand sanitizer) is provided, practice physical distancing of six feet, and follow instructions given by staff who monitor the number of visitors in each space and restrict movement into spaces that have reached capacity.