New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750‒1825

February 12–May 1, 2022

  • The Museum will be closed Sunday, April 9 in observance of Easter.
This exhibition has been made possible by generous support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, The Connecticut Cultural Fund, The Coby Foundation, Connecticut Humanities, Mr. & Mrs. J. Geddes Parsons, Bouvier Insurance, Barbara and Wayne Harms, Mr. & Mrs. Richard H. Booth, Mr. & Mrs. Jeb Embree, Dr. Margaret O’Shea & Mr. Daniel O’Shea, as well as donors to the Museum’s Annual Fund. Media sponsor: WSHU Public Radio.

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition…

The domestic textiles produced in New London County from the mid-18th to early 19th-century stand out today as masterpieces of American needle craft. Curated by independent scholar Lynne Z. Bassett, New London County Quilts & Bed Covers, 1750‒1825, on view February 12–May 1, 2022, examines the artistic excellence of these pieces within the context of design inspiration drawn from an array of transatlantic sources and explores the question of how the county fostered such exceptional work.

Quilted petticoats with maritime motifs, bold geometric patterns on bed rugs, sophisticated feathers and fruit stitched on elegant whitework quilts, and patriotic appliqués reveal the range and accomplishment of New London County women. The exhibition unites for the first time examples by these makers, whose names are only sometimes known, but whose textiles survive as evidence of the network of connections between teachers, students, and family members. 

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