De quilts van Gee's Bend.

Under construction.



In het voorjaar van 2008 heb ik een tentoonstelling bezocht van quilts van Louisiana Bendolph en Mary Lee Bendolph in het Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Het was de eerste keer dat ik quilts van Gee's Bend zag. De eerste keer dat ik van Gee's Bend hoorde.

Gee's Bend is een kleine plattelands gemeenschap in Alabama. Het ligt in de bocht van de Alabama rivier, ten zuidwesten van Selma, Alabama. Door de ligging in de scherpe bocht van rivier, lag het heel geisoleerd en was het moeilijk te bereiken. Officieel heet de plaats Boykin, maar Gee's Bend is de naam  
waaronder de quilters groep bekend is geworden.

Van de Souls Grown Deep website:

Gee’s Bend is a small rural community nestled into a curve in the Alabama River southwest of Selma, Alabama. Founded in antebellum times, it was the site of cotton plantations, primarily the lands of Joseph Gee and his relative Mark Pettway, who bought the Gee estate in 1850. After the Civil War, the freed slaves took the name Pettway, became tenant farmers for the Pettway family, and founded an all-black community nearly isolated from the surrounding world.
De vrouwen van Gee's Bend waren arm. Zij maakten quilts uit noodzaak en gebruikten daarvoor oude kleding. Door de geisoleerde ligging was er weinig invloed van buitenaf en zo ontwikkelden de vrouwen een geheel eigen stijl.

Van bovengenoemde website:

Throughout much of the twentieth century, making quilts was considered a domestic responsibility for women in Gee’s Bend. As young girls, many of the women trained or apprenticed in their craft with their mothers, female relatives, or friends; other quilters, however, have been virtually self-taught. Women with large families often made dozens upon dozens of quilts over the course of their lives. The women consider the process of “piecing” the quilt “top” to be highly personal. In Gee’s Bend, the top—the side that faces up on the bed—is always pieced by a quilter working alone and reflects a singular artistic vision. The subsequent process of “quilting” the quilt—sewing together the completed top, the batting (stuffing), and the back—is sometimes then performed communally, among small groups of women.
The women of Gee’s Bend developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional African-American quilts, but with a geometric simplicity reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art. Art critics worldwide have compared this geometric simplicity to the works of important artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Klee. The New York Times called the quilts “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.”
http://soulsgrowndeep.org/gees-bend-quiltmakers

















https://sway.com/rKc9a7HLcGEYJy9h



http://alabama.travel/road-trips/gees-bend-pastimes-to-patchwork-tour

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