19th Century Quilt Exhibit Starts Saturday (Sept. 28) at Aurora Historical Society

19th Century Quilt Exhibit Starts Saturday (Sept. 28) at Aurora Historical Society

Are you a quilter or know someone who is?

Do you love local history?

Visiting curator Erin Howard, in the bedroom hallway of the Tanner House Museum, prepares to transport 19th century quilts.

If so, you’ll want to attend and/or tell your friend about an exhibit of historic quilts from the collection of the Aurora Historical Society that will be on display at the Pierce Art and History Center from Sept. 28 through Oct. 26, 2019.

The visiting curator for the exhibit, Erin Howard, says that of the numerous quilts owned by the society, the two dozen she has chosen reflect some aspect of art, history or community.

“We have a simple ‘Nine Patch’ pattern made by or for a 10-year old girl, and we have the intricate c. 1880 ‘Pineapple’ pattern made by an unknown but highly expert needlewoman who used luxurious silk that had only recently become available in  the United States,” Howard said.

“We have a beautiful ‘Log Cabin’ quilt made by Anna Makepeace Tanner and her six daughters,” Howard continued. “And since that pattern was well-known as a way to use up scraps from other projects, we see it as a perfect fit with the lifestyle of the Tanners, who despite their fine and well-furnished house, were basically modest and hardworking people.”

Howard credits the centennial year of 1876 as a factor in the rise of interest in traditional quilting and points out that while many forms of women’s work tended to isolate individuals in the home, quilting could be a communal endeavor as women gathered at “bees” to work on a single quilt.

Hours for the exhibit are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. After the last day of the Farmers Market downtown, which is Oct. 12, Saturday hours will be noon to 4 p.m.

Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

The Pierce Center is at 20 E. Downer Place.

Erin Howard will speak about the quilts at a members-only event in mid-October. Those interested in receiving an invitation can join the society for half-price during the membership promotion going on now.  Details can be found at www.aurorahistory.net or by calling 630-906-0650.

  • FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: Erin Howard folds a dramatic ”Pineapple” quilt on top of the “Log Cabin” quilt made c. 1880 by the women of the Tanner House.

SOURCE: Aurora Historical Society news release