Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics

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How Quilts Have Been Viewed and Collected

It's now been nearly a century since quilts were first collected and exhibited and they've come a long way, baby. In this episode of Why Quilts Matter, we trace their slow incursion into museum collections, watching as they finally make the leap from tester bed to gallery wall. The episode charts institutional attitudes toward quilts as objects, rationales for their selection, and the public response to their exhibition (hint: it's very good). To make it all clear, we trace the path of one exemplary quilt from maker to museum. Finally, we explore the lure of quilts for a private collector...who's got to have them, and why.

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