Friday, 25 June 2010
Quilt Exhibition - Victoria & Albert Museum
At The End Of The Day (detail) - Natasha Kerr
Whilst I was in London earlier this month I visited the quilt exhibition at the V & A Museum. This contains around 70 quilts covering 300 years of British quilting history, some of the quilts belong to the V & A collection and some key loans and special commissions.
You can see spectacular 18th century bed hangings, beautiful and intriguing 19th century Chapman coverlet and creative reinventions of the quilt by contemporary artists such as Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Jo Budd and Pauline Burbridge.
One interesting quilt was one made by men in Wandsworth Prison, showing in stitched pictures and words how they spend their time there and some comments about how they feel about being there. You can find more information about how this quilt came about by visiting:
Fine Cell Work - Needlework In Prisons
Another quilt with a story is the Rajah Quilt. In 1841 women prisoners were sent to Australia on a convict ship. Elizabeth Fry formed the Quaker Group the British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners who supplied the women with needlecraft supplies including fabric, needles etc and the quilt is the result of the prisoners' work. You can find more information at:
National Gallery Of Australia - Rajah Quilt
There are many more quilts that tell a story and well worth the £10 entrance fee.
The exhibition continues until the 4th July.
Whilst I was going around the exhibition I met up with Dodie Smith who had been, Programme Secretary for the Cornwall Embroiderers' Guild until her move to Winchester, just shows you never know who you might meet in London!