I remember seeing the exhibition of these quilts by Gee's Bend at the Whitney in 2002. I just fell in love with them. The colors and the textures are so beautiful. I think when I saw them at the time I just got so excited by them because they wove together (no pun intended) so many different interest's of mine, it was just a jumble of things that I wanted in my art at the time, but that didn't seem to logically go together. I really resonated with the quality they have because they are made by hand, it is so beautiful, and at the same time they felt so modern to me and really reminded me of abstract painting. And they are also so personal and are about story telling. One young woman talking about a quilt her mother made, "It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, 'I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.' She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, and I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips."
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quilts by : Louella Pettway, Mary Elizabeth Kennedy, Linda Pettway, Essie Bendolph Pettway, Linda Pettway, Lottie Mooney, Sue Willie Seltzer.