Friday, March 25, 2011

Mrs. Rose and her 651 Quilts


One of the most exciting quilt shows to come around is here - well actually at the Armory in New York City. Mrs. Rose slowly collected hundreds of red and white quilts over the past twenty years. With a photographic memory, she has bought what she has loved and never repeated the same pattern twice. For her birthday, her husband has given her and the the rest of us a gift - an exhibition of 651 quilts to be hung at the Park Avenue Armory and open to the public for six days - free of charge - the largest exhibition of quilts ever held in Manhattan. By narrowing the focus of the show to a specific color combination, the curators encourage the viewer to focus on the design and pattern of each quilt. See the hanging of the show here.


According to the New York Times, it was Mrs. Rose who suggested the title of the exhibition: “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.” She said the inspiration was a line from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety …

So the quilts’ appeal is that they have retained their “infinite variety.” They have not turned “stale” with age.

To go or not to go - that is the question.

9 comments:

kansaswx said...

Well go for me if you're having trouble deciding! I'd love to see it.

The French Bear said...

Wow, what an inspiration to quilters....I am sure it must be wonderful to see in person. I have always been so in love with all the red fabrics you have....I think that has what inspired me to love red toile.....
It started with the red box and then the books......one day I hope to make a quilt from your beautiful fabrics.
Hugs,
Margaret B

cathy@summerland mercantile said...

GO!

lifeinredshoes said...

Reading the article and seeing the beautiful way the quilts are displayed brought me to tears. You see, several years ago I was fortunate enough to find my own red and white treasure.
Thank you for sharing:)

Anonymous said...

Really I ask, why am I NOT there? And if not me, why not you!! Bless Mrs. Rose for this beautiful gift to NYC!
I have more gratitude to her for reminding me I'm not a collector, I'm an accumulator! At last, a comfortable name for it! OXOX Hol

Robin Thomas said...

Oh red and white, my favorite of combinations. How I wish I oculd see this exhibition.

Anonymous said...

Go and bask in the beauty of the quilts! My paternal grandmother made quilts for each of her six children; my father's quilt was a red and white borrowing from Peter to pay Paul quilt! How often in life are there that many red and white quilts on exhibit for free?

Julie B.

Jamie said...

Oh my goodness. This is delicious! There are times when I lived in a great big place like New York instead of Montana! What an opportunity. I hope they produce some kind of book for this - I'd love to see all 600+ quilts - even in a book! Jamie V
http://rem-nants.blogspot.com
amzanioli@yahoo.com

Sacred Threads said...

The show was one of the highlights of my life. It was far more than the sum of the parts.

I was excited to travel to NYC to see the show and knew what to expect about the manner of display. I thought it appeared to be original and engaging. My actual experience of entering the space was radically different. I was totally awestruck. I was entering into sacred space. It was profoundly moving.

I have attended many quilt shows and moved through the rows and cubicles looking at quilts and textile art one by one or even in groups related in theme. This was the first time I have experienced seeing this form of art as a whole with the individual pieces relating fully to each other. Like the blocks of a quilt, the individual block doesn't convey the rhythm and pattern, main and secondary, until it is joined together. At this show while I did look at the individual quilts I spent most of my time looking at the whole display from varying points of view. It was a whole new experience which was beyond measure.