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Representations of African American Quiltmaking: From Omission to High Art

From: Journal of American Folklore
Volume 122, Number 485, Summer 2009
pp. 297-334 | 10.1353/jaf.0.0102



African American quiltmaking began to gain recognition as an expressive form distinct from European American quiltmaking in the countercultural climate of the 1970s. Representations of it since then have served to update the Eurocentric, patriotic image of quiltmaking in the United States with components of multiculturalism and cultural critique. These representations in turn caused tensions along the lines of class, race, gender, and scholarly discipline. This study shows the power of words and things when used together, as in museum exhibits, to affirm or challenge the existing social order.

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