In honor of Black History Month, Art Gallery 21, in partnership with the City of Wilton Manors and Broward Cultural Division, will present “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend: The Fabric of Their Lives” from February 3 through March 10, 2018. This distinctive exhibit will feature seven original quilts from the collection of Janet Dolland, advocate of the celebrated Gee’s Bend Quilter’s Collective.
Formed in the isolated African American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, in the early 20th century, this extraordinary group of women created the quilts to stay warm in winter using whatever fabrics and textiles were available to them. Ranging in age from 19 to 90, they have been recognized by the United States Postal Service, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the National Museum in Washington, DC, because their quilts symbolize the individuality of the quilters and their multi-generational approach to African American art and culture.
The Whitney venue, in particular, brought a great deal of art-world attention to the work of the Gee’s Bend Quilters, beginning with Michael Kimmelman’s review in The New York Times which called the quilts ‘some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced’ and went on to describe them as a version of Matisse and Klee arising in the rural South.
In addition to the exhibit, Janet Dolland will deliver two lectures on the quilts and their creators: the first will be at 7 PM on Saturday, February 3 at Art Gallery 21 (600 NE 21 Court, Wilton Manors, FL 33305); and, the second at 6 PM on Thursday, February 8 at Old Dillard Museum (1001 NW 4th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311).
Gallery Docents will be in attendance every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 12 Noon to 8 PM from February 3 through March 10, 2018. The exhibit is free to the public and groups are welcome. Public parking available close by. Art Gallery 21 is located in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors at the northeast corner of Hagen Park, one block east of Wilton Drive. Look for the “quilted doors” and you’ll know you’re there!