Building the Collection
Building the Collection

people often ask where do your quilts
come from we acquire quotes both through purchases which are
by a private endowment and through donation offers every potential addition
to the collection is first considered by the curatorial staff we look at the
quality and condition of the piece its history and how it fits into our overall
collections we also evaluate how the quilt could be used for exhibition
publication or research selected quilts are presented to our acquisitions
committee which is made up of experts in antique American quilts contemporary
studio quilts and international quilt making traditions there are particular
areas within the collection that we really are strong in and we have some of
the most significant collections frankly in the world here at the International
Quilt Study Center those include our Amish collection which was collected by
Jonathan Holstein and his partner Gail vanderhoof in the 1970s and is
significant for the depth and the breadth of the Amish quilts that it
shows we also have a very strong african-american collection that’s
particularly important because these quilts are documented in other words we
know who made these we know when they were made we know where they were made
and in any quilt that’s unusual but to have a group of african-american quilts
that we can say that we know without doubt that these are african-american
quilts is particularly important to us we’re also strong in a couple of
international areas in fact we literally have the collections of the authors who
wrote the book on these topics one for example is Catherine Berenson’s
collection of French quilts which typically predates 1850s and in our
white work quilts and whole cloth quilts that we simply just don’t see here in
the United States the other international collection that we’re
particularly proud of was guided by Patricia Stoddard who wrote the book
Raleigh quilts and Patricia is an expert on Indian and Pakistani quilts and she
has helped us to acquire what she considers the most significant
collection outside of India here at the study center we’re really excited about
a new area that we’re developing within the collection and that is our education
collection and these are quilts that we’re putting together as groups so that
can share them with our public in ways that we cannot do with certain quilts in
the collection our permanent collection requires pretty stringent environmental
controls light levels all these kind of issues education collection primarily
because these quilts do not have documentation so we don’t know who they
were made by and when they were made these quilts were allowing to travel
into areas where we don’t have the strict light controls for example that
we do with the permanent collection and this gives us an opportunity to really
bring the museum to people and we’re really excited about that we’re always
really honored to to consider a donation from an individual and we receive many
donations what we would really like individuals to do if they have a quote
that they think we might be interested in is to send photographs to me I’m the
chair of the acquisitions committee photographs and any information that you
know about the quilt that will help us make our decision is really important to

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