Threads of Scholarship: History and Storytelling in African American Quilts

(Click title to see program)

"Quilt scholarship remains in its infancy, and many new theories are being developed and tested. As more professional historians and art scholars begin to look at quilts seriously, a clearer understanding of their enormous importance to the story of American life, social history, and artistic achievement is emerging."

Robert Shaw Quilts: A Living Tradition

Web sites on African American Quilts and Quilters

  • African American Quilt Quest

    Concentrates on African American quilts and the important part they have played in American history. Includes several young adult books on quilts and links to quilt Web sites.
  • African-American Quilters

    African American Quilters, a travelling exhibit curated by Maude Wahlman. It has been travelling around the U.S. for 10 years. Included in the exhibit are 20 African American Quilts (from private collections) by 10 quilters with their portraits and biographies. Also included are text labels explaining continuities with West African textile traditions, African secret writing systems, and African charm making traditions, and examples of African textiles, writing, and charms.
  • African-American Quilts

    From the African-American quilts from the Robert and Helen Cargo Collection. Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, Nebraska. January 12-April 1, 2001.
  • African-American Quilts & Quilters

    Information on African-American quilts and quilters by Susan C. Druding.
  • Book Review: A Communion of the Spirits

    Book review written by Nancy Cameron Armstrong of A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and their Stories by Roland L. Freeman.
  • a n y 1 c a n f l y

    Web site of artist and writer Faith Ringgold. Works from public collections reproduced on this site including, "Street Story Quilt", "Tar Beach" and "Dancing at the Louvre".
  • Black Heritage

    An article in San Diego State University's paper about African-American quilts today seen as prime examples of American folk art.
  • Faith Ringgold: Her Story in Text and Image

    Online exhibit of works by Faith Ringgold courtesy of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Flag Story Quilt

    Faith Ringgold's 1985 work Flag Story Quilt courtesy of the Spencer Museum of Art.
  • Flint Afro-American Quilters Guild

    Home page of the Guild which was organized in 1989 by Jeffalone Rumph and Derenda Collins as a response to the need for educating the public about the rich heritage of black quilting in American history.
  • From the African Loom to the American Quilt by Gladys-Marie Fry

    In Spring 1998, the National Humanities Center in NC was transformed by a colorful collection of African-American quilts on loan from the Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This show was inspired by Gladys-Marie Fry, 1997-98 Fellow and Professor of English and Folklore at the University of Maryland. Here she comments on several of the pieces the Center displayed.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Introduction to and text of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
  • The International Quilt Study Center Library

    The addition of the American Quilt Study Group's Research Library to University of Nebraska-Lincoln has further strengthened an already strong textile history and textile science library collection at UNL. The American Quilt Study Group's Research Library can now be accessed via the Internet. You can reach the AQSG collections by visiting the UNL Libraries catalog.
  • Made by Men

    Exhibit guest-curated by Gladys-Marie Fry. Historic and contemporary quilts from across the U.S. including work by David Driskell and Raymond Dobard. (In conjunction with the African American Arts Festival, April 12-21, 1996 and the Diversity Initiative.)
  • Mending Culture

    Detroit News article, January 21, 1997. Remi Douah, an African student from the Ivory Coast has studied African-American quilts at MSU and documented the African-American quilting legacy in Minnesota.
  • Paint a Quilt

    A Michigan Historical Center Teaching site.
  • Quilt

    Access to African-American historical, traditional and folk art quilts.
  • Quilter Carolyn Mazloomi's work

    Article in Lexington Herald-Leader about exhibit at Kentucky State University that features quilts celebrating black heritage, March 7, 1997.
  • Quilts Celebrating African American Spirit at the Renwick Gallery

    An exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery saluting the work of the Women of Color Quilters Network.
  • Quilts Debates

    Commentary from author Jacqueline Tobin, author of Hidden In Plain View.
  • Quilts from Artisans

    Folk art, antiques and outsider art including a spectacular satin quilt from an African-American family in Baltimore, 1920-30.
  • Roland Freeman

    Contains biographical information, current projects, exhibitions, publications and contact information about Roland Freeman a highly regarded photodocumentarian.
  • Rosie Lee Tompkins

    Access to exhibition history, list of works and discussion of Rosie Lee Tompkins.
  • Stitching Stars: The Story Quilts of Harriet Powers

  • Discussion Threads About Africa

    From H-AFRICA which encourages the interdisciplinary discussion of Africa's history, culture, and African studies generally.
  • The Underground Railroad: Michigan Historical Museum

    Discussion of Michigan's Underground Railroad. Brief history and photographs included.
  • Underground Railroad: Quilts
    Discussion of quilt codes and the use of quilt squares as coded maps to help slaves.
  • Who'd A Thought It: Improvisation in African American Quiltmaking

    The Goldstein, a museum of design on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, hosted the widely acclaimed exhibition "Who'd A Thought It: Improvisation in African-American Quiltmaking" opening February 2, 1997.
  • Quilting

    Yahoo information on quilts and quilting.


For further information, e-mail:

This page was created by Deborah LaFond, Social Sciences Bibliographer, and Lou Ann Stewart, Reference Librarian, University Libraries, University at Albany.
Last update May 4, 2001.

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