Speaker to provide entertaining history of men and quiltmaking

· 3 min read

Speaker to provide entertaining history of men and quiltmaking

Joe Cunningham
Joe Cunningham

Nationally known quiltmaker, author and musician Joe Cunningham will present “Men and the Art of Quiltmaking” on Sept. 6 at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N. 33rd St. on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus.

The free program begins at 5:30 p.m. and features Cunningham’s humor, quilts and music. He will give a general history of the ways men have been involved in quiltmaking over the past 200 years.

“We’ll learn more about the many men who make quilts today and some of the interesting ways men approach the art,” said Jonathan Gregory, the museum’s assistant curator of exhibitions.

Cunningham began making quilts professionally in 1979. He has published 11 books and has been featured in national magazines and TV programs, including “The Quilt Show” with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

The program will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition “The Engineer Who Could: Ernest Haight’s Half Century of Quiltmaking.” The exhibition examines the contributions Haight made toward innovating modern quilting practices early in the American quilt revival. Based on extensive primary research, the exhibition sheds a new light on an important Nebraska quiltmaker.

“I am looking forward to a visit at IQSCM – I continue to study quilts and get so much out of them,” Cunningham said. “It is a thrill to see the IQSCM. The kind of resources and seriousness with which the IQSCM can approach a show like this is wonderful.”

Though men have made quilts for centuries, in the last 200 years it has been an art primarily practiced by women. But in recent years, more and more men have taken up quiltmaking.

“Just like Ernest Haight did, Joe Cunningham found he could use many of his interests and talents in making and sharing quilts with others,” Gregory said.

Admission is free to the public from 4:30-7 p.m. on Sept. 6, as part of Lincoln’s First Friday Artwalk. Visitors are invited to participate in family activities and view the galleries.

The program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

In addition to “The Engineer Who Could,” current exhibitions include “Posing with Patchwork: Quilts in Photographs, 1855-1955,” “Perfecting the Past: Colonial Revival Quilts,” “Colonial Revival: 2012 AQSG Biannual Quilt Study” and “Quilts Under the Microscope.”

The International Quilt Study Center is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences.

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