Artist Unknown, Map Quilt, 1886

Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts

June 18, 2022 - September 11, 2022

Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts is an invitation to read quilts as maps, tracing the paths of individual stories and experiences that illuminate larger historical events and cultural trends. The quilts can be read as extensions of the hands, bodies, minds, and spirits that constructed them—each artwork constituting a unique site of meaning that embodies the artist’s identity, memories, and intentions. Like a roadmap, quilts direct us to their place of origin. To further explore these cartographies, these quilts are exhibited adjacent to Jerry Gretzinger’s visionary mapping project, Jerry’s Map (1963–ongoing). These quilts provide comfort and a sense of safety; they make the unknown known, or the unknown home.

Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.