Patterns in Abstraction: Black Quilts from the High’s Collection, will be on display as part of a special exhibit at the High Museum of Art, June 28, 2024 through Jan. 25, 2025.

The theme of the show is looking at the larger question: “How can quilts made by African American women change how we view the history of abstraction?” 

“In recent years, we have committed to increasing our holdings of quilts by Black women and have grown the collection to more than 50 works since 2017,” Rand Suffolk, the museum’s director, said. “Our expanded holdings allow us to make quilts a reoccurring and dynamically changing fixture within our collection galleries as well as to develop exhibitions that further the dialogue around the significance of these works within the broader and overlapping histories of American and modern art, of which ‘Patterns in Abstraction’ is the first.”

In all, the exhibit will include 17 quilts by Black women. The quilts were recently acquired through the museum’s ongoing quilt collecting initiative. 

Among the pieces are several by notable quilters from Gee’s Bend, AL, including Mary Lee Bendolph, Louisiana Bendolph and Lucy T. Pettway. Additionally, works by Atlanta-based quilters such as Marquetta Johnson and other early 20th-century quilters will be on display.

As part of the Patterns in Abstraction: Black Quilts from the High’s Collection exhibit, the High will also launch corresponding online content through the museum’s digital platform, which will include essays by quilt scholar Dr. Marsha MacDowell, Jentleson, Destinee Filmore and the majority of the convening participants.

There will also be filmed interviews with Gee’s Bend quilters China Pettway and Louisiana Bendolph and an interactive high-resolution image gallery that explores conservation stories and meaning in the exhibition’s quilts.

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