First Friday event to explore Liberian, African American quilts

· 2 min read

First Friday event to explore Liberian, African American quilts

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum is located at 33rd and Holdrege streets.

Nebraska’s International Quilt Study Center and Museum will explore the connections between Liberian and African American quilts with a series of fast-paced talks at 5:30 p.m. April 5 in the museum’s Reception Hall.

“Stitching the Transatlantic: Liberian and African American Quilts” will feature a panel of experts moderated by Curator of International Collections Marin Hanson. The guest speakers will introduce their research in a series of “lightning talks,” which are 20-slide presentations at 30 seconds each.

Afterward, panelists will answer questions from the audience to provide further discussion on quiltmaking in the African diaspora.

“The museum is pleased to welcome such eminent scholars to the museum for the panel,” said Executive Director Leslie Levy. “We are excited to learn more about Transatlantic quiltmaking traditions and to share this information with our visitors.”

Made possible with the support of the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Excellence Fund, the panel will feature Stephanie Beck Cohen, Kyra E. Hicks and John Singler.

  • Stephanie Beck Cohen is an art historian and independent curator interested in women artists, their networks and diplomacy. Her research considers how women artists made political statements and participated in diplomacy through textiles globally in the 19th and 20th centuries. Cohen is particularly interested in quilting practices in Liberia and the United States.

  • Kyra E. Hicks is an author, quilt historian and quiltmaker whose work explores political, religious, familial and romantic themes. Hicks is the author of “Black Threads: An African American Quilting Scrapbook,” a children’s book about Martha Ann Ricks, a Liberian quiltmaker who notably made and hand-delivered a quilt to England’s Queen Victoria.

  • John Singler is professor emeritus of linguistics at New York University. After graduating with a degree in history from Dartmouth College, Singler taught in Liberia for six years and has contributed to 50 publications on the country. He recently returned from two months of research in Liberia on the language and lives of the quilters in one settler community.

The panel is being held in conjunction with two exhibitions, “From Kente to Kuba: Stitched Textiles from West and Central Africa,” and “Stitching the Transatlantic: The John Singler Collection of Liberian Quilts,” now on display at the museum.

Learn more about the panel on the International Quilt Study Center and Museum website.

This Breadfruit Tree quilt was made by Missouri Montgomery in 1970 in Farmersville, Sinoe County, Liberia. It is one of the quilts to be discussed during First Friday at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

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