La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum > La Conner Quilt & Textitle Museum Exhibits > Past Exhibits > Material Men: Innovation & the Art of Quiltmaking

Material Men: Innovation & the Art of Quiltmaking

October 11 - December 30, 1012

 Sponsored by Pacific Fabrics & Crafts

“Real Men Don’t Quilt or Do They?” blares the headline of a 2005 article by quiltmaker Kent Williams. The growing frequency of publications about men who quilt makes this an easy question to answer: Yes, men (real or otherwise) DO indeed quilt. In fact, we now know that men have been quilting for hundreds of years: Renown San Francisco quiltmaker Joe Cunningham has documented the story of Joe Hedley, a tailor-turned-quiltmaker who lived in England during the last half of the 18th century.

Despite the contributions of men to the world of quilting over the past two centuries, quilting is still perceived culturally as “women’s work.” But that perception is slowly changing with the increased visibility of quilts made by men. Some male quilters have achieved celebrity status in the quilting world (e.g. Kaffe Fassett, Michael James, Ricky Tims, Joe Cunningham, David Taylor, Mark Lipinski), teaching, publishing books and magazines, creating television programs, some even designing their own fabric lines.

The larger question is not about whether men quilt but what men have brought to the art of quilting, which is the raison d’être of the upcoming exhibit MATERIAL MEN: INNOVATION & THE ART OF QUILTMAKING. This is the first large-scale group show of men’s work on the West Coast. This exhibit will showcase many of the innovations in design, technique, and materials which a formidable group of sixteen male quilters have brought to the art of quiltmaking.

Image above, left:  Lionfish Leslie Gabriëlse, Holland. Image above right:  Jim Hay Green Eyes by Jim Hay, Japan.

The Quilt Artists of MATERIAL MEN:

Thom Atkins (Santa Cruz, CA)

Tristan Robin Blakeman (New Haven, CT)

Edward M. Bostick (New York, NY)

Richard Caro (Waterville, ME)

Michael A. Cummings (New York, NY)

Joe Cunningham (San Francisco, CA)

Leslie Gabriëlse (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Jim Hay (Gunma, Japan)

Luke Haynes (Seattle, WA)

Raymond K. Houston (St. Louis, MO)

John Lefelhocz (Athens, OH)

Mike “Mac” McNamara (San Francisco, CA)

Shingo Nakano (Saitama, Japan)

Shawn Quinlan (Pittsburgh, PA)

David Taylor (Steamboat Springs, CO)

Erick Wolfmeyer (Iowa City, IA)



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