Exhibits & Articles
"Curves and Lines" — Nov. 16, 2012 to Jan. 7, 2013. With Cele Stauduhar. Conde Nast Bldg., 4 Times Square, NYC. The Durst Organization.
Click thumbnails to see more slides.
During her lifetime (1886–1967), Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth single-handedly amassed one of the largest and most extensive private collections of quilts and other textiles in Britain and possibly the world. Her family humorously dismissed her obsession as "Rachel's tat" (worthless rags), yet her legacy is now valued at $10 million and housed in an archive for researchers and scholars.
I presented "Rachel's Tat: The Extraordinary Teaching Collection of Rachel Kay Shuttleworth whose 18th Century Quilts Are Labeled 'Please Touch'" to the American Quilt Study Group, Lowell, MA, in 2007. The paper was subsequently published in Uncoverings 2007.
My Life in Rags:
From Costumes to Quilts
by Eleanor Knowles Dugan originally published in SF Art Forum, June 1986
Lots of people laugh. "Why," they ask, "do you take a big piece of cloth, cut it up into little pieces, and then sew them back into big pieces again?"
It's a reasonable question. The art and craft of quilting has progressed from a survival skill of the struggling to a pastime for the leisured and even, occasionally, an art form. Why do we still resort to the meticulous piecework developed by our forbearers back when a yard of machine-woven cloth cost a week's wages, and every scrap must be used?
Read More of My Life in Rags