Three Hundred Years of Quilts

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Quilts 1700-2010 Trailer from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

The V&A presents its first major exhibition of quilts. Exploring 300 years of British quilt making, the exhibition will show more than 65 quilts from a cot cover made in the 1690s to recent examples by leading contemporary artists including Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry as well as special commissions by Sue Stockwell, Caren Garfen and Jo Budd. Quilts 1700 – 2010 is on display until 4 July 2010.

The first exhibition of its kind in the UK, Quilts 1700-2010 will show an extraordinary variety of quilts from the highly decorative and opulent such as the Bishop’s Court Quilt, once believed to have been created by a Duke for a visit from King Charles II in 1670, to modest homemade bed covers, all testifying to the creativity and imagination of the makers. Where appropriate the quilts will be displayed on bed mounts, including a unique set of 1730 patchwork bed hangings, enabling visitors to experience how they were originally designed to be seen.

Each quilt has a unique story to tell and the curators have unravelled some of the complex narratives and personal stories handed down with each intricately pieced quilt. The 1829 Elisabeth Chapman coverlet, commemorating Wellington’s Victory at Vittoria, was believed to be a marriage token. However, the curators have discovered that the love poem on the coverlet is actually an epitaph connected to a macabre Georgian tale. The exhibition will end with Tracey Emin’s To Meet My Past (2002), a confessional installation which follows the tradition of quilts used as vessels for personal and collective memories.

For more on this exhibit visit here.

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