Sunday, July 29, 2007

Folk Art Quilts

Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows up.
~ Pablo Picasso

There was a story in this morning's New York Times entitled
Handmade Alabama Quilts Find Fame and Controversy . The story is about the Gee's Bend Quilts , quilts I'd first read and heard about when I first began quilting, although at the time they were called Freedom Quilts.

These quilts remind of Henri Matisse's paper cut-outs . I was struck by this last month when I saw the Gee's Bend Exhibition at the Walter's Museum in Baltimore and then, the next day, went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and saw an exhibition of Matisse's cut-outs .

The New York Times story describes the history of the quilts and the lawsuits filed by two of the quilters against Bill Arnett and his sons, claiming they had been cheated out of thousands of dollars in proceeds from their work and copyrights. This seems to be a fairly regular occurance when dealing with folk or outsider art, but it's unclear if that is the case here.

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