Thursday, June 27, 2013

Minimalism in a Maximal Culture

Early 20th century quilt

Late 19th-century parlor

One of the contradictions in quilt history is that women who decorated their homes and children to visual excess also made quilts that are exemplars of minimalism.
(Do notice the hooked rug on the floor in the photo. It's has an Oddfellows theme with the heart in hand and the letters FLT---but I digress.) 


Quilt from about 1910

Quilt from ?

Quilt from about 1890
Of course, there are plenty of surviving examples of late Victorian romantic clutter. 

But how two such different styles coexisted is an interesting puzzle.

Above and Below about 1900

Here we have a style mixture, a good example of the paradox---
The center of wools: an excellent example of functionality.
The print border: an excellent example of ornament for its own sake.


  1. These all look so modern, like they could've been made today.

  2. Striking examples! We still have these different styles in modern quilting. I note again the huge difference it makes with solids or prints!