Improvised Quilts of Gees Bend
Gees Bend is a small African American community in Alabama. The town’s women developed a distinctive, improvised geometric designs from salvaged work clothes, faded jeans, worn dresses, mattress ticking and cotton feed sacks, nothing is wasted. These skills and aesthetic were passed down through at least six generations to the present. In 2002, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the nonprofit Tinwood Alliance, of Atlanta, presented an exhibition of seventy quilts from Gees Bend.
The quilts of Gees Bend, are more than just quilts, they hold the spirit of the materials that are used, the history of the people, the story of their lives are contained within these quilts.
Image: Rachey Carey George (born 1908). Work-clothes strips, c. 1938. Denim (wool trousers, mattress ticking, cotton). 82 x 72 inches. The Collection of the Tinwood Alliance.
Image: Annie Mae Young, born 1928. Work-clothes quilt with center medallion of corduroy strips, 1976. Denim, corduroy, synthetic blend, 108 x 77 inches. The Collection of the Tinwood Alliance
Image: Lillie Mae Pettway, 1927-1990. "Housetop"--twelve-block "Half-Log cabin" variation, ca. 1965, cotton, wool corduroy, 77 x 65 inches.
Top Image: Rachel Carey George, born 1908. "Housetop"--sixteen-block "Half-Logcabin" variation sashed with feed sacks. ca. 1935, cotton sacking material and dress fabric, 86 x 86 inches. The Collection of the Tinwood Alliance