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The Mass Media

‘Quilts and Color’ brightens Boston at the MFA

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‘Quilts and Color’ at the MFA

Colorful threads weave in perfect matrimony to create a majestic symbol of rich American history. The exhibit “Quilts and Color” opened on April 6 at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston.
The quilts seen in the exhibit were collected by trained artists Gerald E. Roy and the late Paul D. Pilgrim over a span of five decades. Roy and Pilgrim have gathered over 60 unique and eccentric quilts that stood apart from the traditional styles of their time. Roy elaborated on the accomplishment of assembling such a grand collection on a video from the MFA’s website: “The one thing that I find so extraordinarily rewarding, not only about finding these things and saving them, is to actually have them exhibited on museum walls.” You might just agree with Roy’s sentiments.
The dim ambience welcomed patrons as quilts, which ranged from the early-19th to mid-20th century, lined the black colored walls—a contrast that works with the bright patterns of color reflecting from the quilts. Beneath each quilt is a short preface, detailing the quilt’s origin, the materials used to make it, and, most importantly, the name of the quilt. This is another important detail as Roy and Pilgrim informs us about what the quilt’s design represents.
Most of the quilts derive from Pennsylvania, but there are a few from the Massachusetts or the New England area. One of those quilts is called “The Star of Bethlehem.” One of the aspects of this quilt that makes it a vision to the eyes are the use of calm colors, beige and brown, with the loud colors of red and green. It is certainly a unique mix of color to make a more broad spiritual symbol of a star representing the Star of Bethlehem.
This specific quilt was part of the sub-category “vibrations.” The other categories—mixtures, harmonies, gradations, contrasts, optical illusions, variations, and singular visions—all featured quilts that were close representations of the category’s characteristics. You will find that no two quilts are the same and that once you go once, you will be anxious to see it again.
The exhibit will be up until July 27. Ticket prices will vary but students of University of Massachusetts Boston get in for free with a valid school ID.