dark burgundy velvet border; square blocks each pieced with irregular fabric scraps sewn together with embroidery floss in various stitch types and colors; various fabrics including embroidered and appliqued parasols, fans, teapot, flowers, top hat, butterfly, large blue leaf; at least four fragments of printed ribbons from various events including Grand Masonic Reunion, 1876, and Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association, 1862; backing of burgundy fabric with inherent pleating

Crazy quilt, c. 1882

Unknown artist, expand_more

Among the vibrant patches in this crazy quilt are three printed souvenir ribbons: two relate to Freemasons (men-only secret societies that act as social groups), and the third commemorates the 1882 Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association meeting. Souvenir ribbons in similar crazy quilts typically reference women’s charitable organizations or Civil War veterans’ reunions. The emphasis on exclusively male social and professional societies seen here is rare in the distinctly feminine, domestic craft of quilting.

The donors of this quilt trace its ownership through their grandfather, Frank H. Allen. Originally from Wisconsin, Allen later lived in Staples, Minnesota, and was a doctor. Allen would have been a child when the quilt was made, and it is possible his father also worked in the medical field.

Conservation of this artwork was made possible by Barbara and Paul Mikelson, in memory of Emma Kloos Hitzemann, through Mia's Art Champions program.

Details
Title
Crazy quilt
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2017.10
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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dark burgundy velvet border; square blocks each pieced with irregular fabric scraps sewn together with embroidery floss in various stitch types and colors; various fabrics including embroidered and appliqued parasols, fans, teapot, flowers, top hat, butterfly, large blue leaf; at least four fragments of printed ribbons from various events including Grand Masonic Reunion, 1876, and Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association, 1862; backing of burgundy fabric with inherent pleating