I am thrilled to announce that one of my quilts is in a museum show! The show is at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee and is called, “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse.” The show originated at the CAMP Gallery in Miami in 2019 and has travelled to new locations, become a little different each time and adding works by local artists.

Quilt/banners by Elaine Luther and Amy Gelb at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, 2023.

Works as installed at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee by Elaine Luther and Amy Gelb.

Here’s a better view of my banner.

Quilt Banner by Elaine Luther

“An American Woman…” aka “Blood & Fire 4” by Elaine Luther, 2023, shown as installed at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee.

There was a call for art for this show, and unusually, you had to submit a sketch of your idea first. Well, I don’t draw, so my sketch was a combination of a photo of an actual work in progress, that I started for this purpose, overlaid with the silhouette of a woman (done digitally) plus the doily, that I had already made as a stand-alone piece of art.

Once that was approved, I started making the real piece. I was interrupted by some really fun travels to artist residencies. As the piece neared completion, I realized that the silhouette of a woman that I had selected looked really weird, and distorted, when enlarged. I had to swap that silhouette out for another one, which ended up being much stronger.

The call for art required that the piece by textile art and measure 40″ wide by 60″ high. I consider this to be number four in the series of quilt banners, “Blood & Fire,” that I started in 2020, and this is the largest. I’ve never worked at this size. I’ve made bed quilts, and I’ve made smaller art quilts, but this is a really nice size. The pieces this size have presence. Most, but not all, of the pieces in the show are this size. I plan to continue making banners this size.

I really appreciate this call for art, because I wouldn’t have made this piece at all, without the call. (I had made a smaller, less successful piece on the same theme, previously.) And I wouldn’t have made it this size. I love a good call for art that gets me to make something I never would have made otherwise! (My first of the Medals that You Wouldn’t Want to Earn was like that.)

The materials in the piece are: All cotton fabric and thread, except the collar is a cotton/poly blend. Vintage doily is printed with light reactive dye. A couple of the quilt blocks were found already made, but it was mostly made by me. Some of the fabric is torn and top stitched, to comment on the fraying social contract.

My art has been museum-adjacent before. During the pandemic the Bristol Museum of Art’s library had a show of smart phone photography that exemplified the pandemic. I had two photos in that. And I had a collage in a show at the archive of the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, Vermont. Those are both so far away that I wasn’t able to see those shows. This time, the art is really, really in the museum!

The show is up until the end of 2023 and will continue to travel. It’s a really terrific show and I encourage anyone within a reasonable drive, say, 5 hours, to go see it. And before it gets cold out!

Info. on the museum show: