Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Wisconsin Crazy Quilt

Margaret A. Beattie (American, b. ca. 1860), Crazy Quilt, 1883. Silk floss, silk chenille, metallic yarn, and oil paint on silk and silk velvet; 76 x 64 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Marion Wolfe, Mrs. Helen L. Pfeifer and Friends of Art, M1997.58. Photo by Larry Sanders.
Margaret A. Beattie (American, b. ca. 1860), Crazy Quilt, 1883. Silk floss, silk chenille, metallic yarn, and oil paint on silk and silk velvet; 76 x 64 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Marion Wolfe, Mrs. Helen L. Pfeifer and Friends of Art, M1997.58. Photo by Larry Sanders.

My grandmother made about a dozen quilts in her lifetime and having them around so much as a kid, I sort of took them for granted.

Before I worked at the Museum as an intern, I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum’s exhibition American Quilts: Selections from the Winterthur Collection in the summer of 2010. As many exhibitions of material culture tend to do, the display gave me a new appreciation for artforms that had surrounded me my whole life. I saw my grandmother’s craft in a new way, and as someone who just a few years ago mastered sewing on a button, the awe I feel for the craftsmanship is possibly only outdone by the respect I feel for the artistry of quilt making.

Quilting for America’s earliest settlers was first and foremost a practical endeavor.  A time consuming but necessary task, scraps of  worn-out clothing and bits of fabric were reused to create bedding.  By the late nineteenth century, quilts existed in many styles, some of which were purely decorative, meant for display in the parlor or front room.

One such type was the “crazy quilt,” as seen in this spectacular example from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s permanent collection.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

The Art of Education: My Teaching Journey at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Steven, Sensei, and Dre'Shawn working on their projects. Photo by Chelsea Kelly
Steven, Sensei, and Dre’Shawn working on their projects. Photo by Chelsea Kelly
Editor’s Note: I’m thrilled to share another post from my intern, Jessica Janzer, whose previous piece focused on the Fall 2011 session of Satellite, one of our teen programs. In this post, Jessica reflects on her teaching practice, which is informed by her art education degree program as well as her work as an intern here at the Museum. Jessica’s thoughtful comparison of two different ways of teaching is great food for thought for all of us who are interested in education and the arts. –Chelsea Kelly, Manager of Digital Learning

As I am getting into the meat of my Art Education B.F.A. major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I am finding more and more just how well my internship at the Milwaukee Art Museum compliments and contrasts with what I am learning academically.