Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gee’s Bend Quilts Stamps

The newly issued stamps are available at the post office and I plan to go buy some tomorrow. Artbiz Coach, Alyson B. Stanfield gives some resources on her blog if you want to acquaint yourself with the quiltmakers.

" The American Treasures stamp series is intended to showcase beautiful works of American fine art and crafts. For the 2006 issuance, art director Derry Noyes chose photographs of ten quilts created between circa 1940 and 2001 by African-American women in Gee's Bend, Alabama.

Noted for their unexpected color combinations, bold patterns, and improvised designs, the quilts of Gee's Bend are also remarkable for the humble materials with which they are made and the humbler circumstances in which they are born. Until recently, necessity limited the quilters to fabric from everyday items such as flour sacks, old dresses, and worn-out denim and flannel work clothes. Stains, mended holes and tears, faded patches, and seams all became integral parts of a quilt's design and ensured that the materials, as well as the quilts, told the story of Gee's Bend.

Today outside interest in the quilts of Gee's Bend is growing. Art historian William Arnett and his son Matt began collecting the quilts in 1997. Their collection-which has been exhibited in museums around the U.S.-resides with Tinwood Alliance, a nonprofit foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, that supports African-American vernacular art. The renewed attention has had a positive social and economic impact on the lives of the quilters and other residents of Gee's Bend. In 2003 the women of Gee's Bend, with the help of Tinwood Alliance, formed the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective.

The American Treasures stamp series was inaugurated in 2001 with the Amish Quilts stamp pane. The 2002, 2003, and 2004 issuances featured artwork by John James Audubon, Mary Cassatt, and Martin Johnson Heade, respectively. In 2005, the theme returned to textiles with the issuance of the New Mexico Rio Grande blankets."

No comments:

Post a Comment