In the Heart of Pennsylvania: 19th and 20th Century Quiltmaking Traditions

April 13–27, 1986
Beaver College Art Gallery


The Beaver College Art Gallery will host an exhibition of quilts from central Pennsylvania from April 13 to 27 on the campus at Easton and Church Roads. The opening reception on Sunday, April 13 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM follows a lecture by Jeannette Lasansky in the Little Theatre at 2:00 PM. Lasansky is project director of Union County's Oral Traditions/Folk Culture Program. Admission is free.

The 15–quilt show is part of an exhibition, titled "In the Heart of Pennsylvanis: 19th and 20th Century Quiltmaking Traditions," which was held last year in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. This is a unique opportunity to view a selection of quilts which were documented during a twelve-year, oral traditions research project conducted by Lasansky. The selected quilts illustrate  the dominant piece-quilt palette of pink-and-green-figured fabrics.

Exhibitions of pieced quilts are unusual, according to Lasansky. "In spite of their use and popularity in Pennsylvania, " she said, "they somehow were not as desirable to dealers and collectors. The exhibition at Beaver College is a unique event in that many of the quilts have never before left Union County." Lasansky added that the quilts on display have all been borrowed from family homes where the living tradition and history of quilting, and of these particular pieces, remain intact.

"There's more to this show than the fact that these quilts are beautiful art," said Gallery Director Zina Goldsmith. "The quilts are legacies of the tradition of watching and learning, of a time when quiltmaking was not a creative endeavor, but a way of life. We are committed to cultivating a preservation of traditions in art, and this show is the first of what we hope will be many to come."

"There's more to this show than the fact that these quilts are beautiful art," said Gallery Director Zina Goldsmith