photograph by Taylor Dabney
Essie Bendolph Pettway (American, born 1956), Equal Justice, 2020, color softground etching with aquatint on Rives BFK white paper, image 36 x 33 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Museum purchase, funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund, H2021.01.03, copyright Essie Bendolph Pettway
Aug 24, 2022
throughJul 07, 2022

Gee's Bend Prints: From Quilts to Prints

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Gee's Bend Prints: From Quilts to Prints is on view in the Modlin Center Booth Lobby, University of Richmond, through July 7, 2023. These prints are inspired by the quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. African American women of this remote community have created hundreds of quilts for more than a century. The quilts have been recognized as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced,” as noted by Michael Kimmelman, New York Times art critic.

Several of the younger generation of quilters have made etchings based on small scaled maquette quilts. Collaborating with master printers at Paulson Fontaine Press in Berkeley, California, the artists used innovative techniques to transfer the quilt design to an etching that highlights the strong patterns, textures, and compositions of traditional Gee’s Bend quilts. The artists featured in the exhibition are: Louisiana Bendolph (American, born 1960), Loretta Pettway (American, born 1942), Mary Lee Bendolph (American, born 1935), and Essie Bendolph Pettway (American, born 1956).

The exhibition was organized by the University of Richmond Museums, curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums. The exhibition is made possible with funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund.

Gee's Bend Prints: From Quilts to Prints