The Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg reopens with Exhibit Phase II on Tuesday, May 17. The Phase II exhibitions include: • “American Pride: Eagles and Stars”: Quilts from the Pat and Arlan Christ collection (Through September 10). The Christs, husband and wife quilt collectors and historians from Pennsylvania, dedicate their exhibit of patriotic quilts to those who have served in the U.S. military, and their families who remained at home to provide the food, clothing, and materials needed to supply the troops. These creations are a true testament of the “American Pride” that is worked into each stitch.
• “Along the Spice Route” curated by Ann Reardon and Paula Golden (Through September 10). The story of spices, some 5,000 years old, is also the history of trade and commerce, as well as the new world. “Along the Spice Route” features 41 wall quilts depicting artistic interpretations of spices that refine modern cuisine. The exhibit offers an opportunity to discover the spices’ countries of origin, the importance of ancient trade routes, and the lasting connections between the world’s cultural heritages.
• “Treasures from the Vault: Presidential Connections,” guest curator: Wayne Harrison (Through July 20). This exhibit presents a series of quilts and other material culture (presidential campaign items) showing connections between presidents with Virginia family connections and the Whig Party. These connections are demonstrated by quilt pattern and/or association with relatives of U.S. Presidents and/or campaign memorabilia.
• “Inspired by the National Parks: Celebrating 100 Years” curated by Donna De Soto (Opening July 26; through September 10). A colorful celebration of the 59 U.S. National Parks, this collection of 177 original art quilts depicts the widely varying landscapes, flora, and fauna of the parks. The quilts offer a range of styles, techniques, interpretations, artistry, and materials. Delight in these textile tributes to our national treasures—from Acadia in Maine, to Voyageurs in Minnesota, to Yosemite in California, to Haleakala in Hawaii, to our own Shenandoah.
Upcoming events include:
• Continuing the 2016 Inaugural Christopher Columbus Grandle Lecture Series;
• Pat and Arlan Christ (from Pennsylvania), “The Captain James Andrews Quilt” and “American Pride”, two lectures and Artists’ Reception Saturday, June 11;
• Shenandoah National Park Ranger, “Flora and Fauna”, Saturday, July 30;
• Polly Mello, “Mourning and Meaning Through Cloth: Funerary Traditions in Textiles” seminar, Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.
Exhibit Phase III (September 20-December 17) will feature a quilt potpourri. Included in this grouping will be Midnight in the Garden of Quilts by Polly Mello, Treasures from the Vault: Crazy Quilts, and A Potpourri of Quilts: Floyd County, Virginia Quilt Guild.
Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is: general: $7; students (age five and up), $5; and children under five are admitted free.
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The Virginia Quilt Museum was founded in 1995 and exists to celebrate and nurture quilting in Virginia. The museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded solely through private donations, memberships, and revenue from admissions and museum shop sales. The Virginia Quilt Museum receives no federal or state funding.