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Mrs. Zegart works with designers and decorators, painstakingly matching a color or graphic design. Shelly is as concerned about pleasing an individual who can spend $350 for a gift as she is in satisfying corporate clients who want to purchase investment quilts for their offices.



Shelly Zegart continues to demolish the divisions that inhibit the reception of the quilt as art -- both in the mind of makers and viewers. Although she will be among the first to acknowledge that her task is far from complete, she surely knows her labors have made a difference for the greater good.

Bernard L. Herman, George B. Tindle Professor of American Studies, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


Shelly Zegart is a consultant and contributor to the book and museum exhibition, The Quilts of Gee's Bend. She has acted as an advisor for the organization and operations of the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective, working closely with the quiltmakers in the marketing of the Collective Quilts.

Quilts of Gee's Bend


About Shelly :: Consultant

"Quilts have continued to hold my interest over the past 25 years because I have been able to work with them in a multitude of ways," says Shelly.

In other areas of this website, you can learn about her lectures, articles, and publications. This area of the website outlines some of the more creative projects and services that Shelly has provided and could offer to you.

Shelly's background as a fifteen-year board member of the Louisville Visual Art Association (Contemporary Art Center) gave her extensive knowledge of exhibition and collection issues, ranging from design to travel. Her experience in the art world as a collector has been invaluable while working with quilts in all venues - museums, corporate settings, etc.

Shelly can help you to bridge the gaps between the quilt world, the museum world, the art world and the business world. Her contacts in all areas, from those in the "how-to make quilts" community to academics make Shelly the "one stop shop" for your project.

Please click on the headers below to see the examples of Shelly's consulting projects:

 TV and Films

"I have been hired by various groups who want to ensure that the material written about quilts, for scripts and other applications is accurate. Much of what has traditionally been written about quilts is mostly myth, not fact. By hiring me to ensure the accuracy of the quilt information and images, you can avoid public relations fiascoes like the one suffered by a company that showed ladies at a quilting bee using knitting needles to quilt."

Shelly has been a resource for Simply Quilts, HGTV, and Wisconsin Public Television among others. She provides information such as: who would make a good interview, who is credible in this enormous world of self proclaimed authorities, on what level are some of the "authorities" operating, is their expertise university level or grass roots and which do you want for this effort? She also provides assistance in navigating through the minefield of quilt politics (yes, it is political).

 View all multimedia resources...

 Product Promotion

"Recently, I was contacted by an international public relations firm wanting to have a quilt designed and made within a very short time frame for a special product launch. I was hired to 'make it happen,' 'make it good' and 'meet the deadline.' I located the designer and the maker. I coordinated the production, arranged the contracts, secured professional photography for the finished quilt, and assisted with the writing of public relations materials for the launch."

 Books & Publications

Cover: Living with QuiltsShelly was hired as the sole consultant to work with both the publisher and author of Living with Quilts, the Phyllis George Book. Her responsibilities included providing the most accurate publications list from which the author could do her research and writing within a given deadline.

Shelly also located most of the collectors (many had been clients of hers) willing to lend quilts for photography. She selected the majority of the extraordinary sites to be used for the page settings as well as worked with the writer to choose a broad variety of quilts, so that the 700 word essays that the author had to write about each one would not send her "over the edge" with nothing original left to say by quilt number ten.

 View Shelly's publications...

 Collection Development

Shelly works with a number of banks, hospitals, airports, universities and private collectors to develop collections of quilts. From choosing a theme, to locating the quilts, advising on hanging, writing necessary wall and catalogue text, she actively involved in each project.

Her own personal collection has recently been acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago. An exhibition including all of those quilts and some other recent acquisitions opened in the Textile Galleries on March 16, 2004 and continued until the end of September 2004. Shelly gave a lecture at the museum at the opening titled "American Quilts: Patchwork of Meanings, Purposes and Origins."

 Collection Travel

Having been closely involved over the years with the travel of several exhibitions, Shelly is in a position to develop traveling exhibitions and to avoid the pitfalls that can occur.

She also has inside knowledge of most of the major public and private collections through the research on her book American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces.

If your organization is looking to develop a particular theme for travel in the U.S. or abroad, Shelly can locate the quilts, negotiate with the museums and organize the paperwork.

She currently has several foreign venues under consideration. In 2005 she worked with NHK, the public TV station in Japan, to gather together a group of quilts on a theme for their 2005 Quilt Festival. Shelly also worked with NHK for Tokyo Quilt Festivals in 2007 and 2008.

 Quilt Projects

As the driving force behind the first state documentation project - The Kentucky Quilt Project, originating in Kentucky in 1981, Shelly can develop similar projects for you from inception, proposal writing and funding development to completion. Kentucky's project became the model for at least 45 others in the United States and abroad and spawned nearly as many books and catalogues.

In 1991-92 The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc produced Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt. During that effort 6 exhibitions at 4 venues in Louisville were produced (the J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Louisville Science Center, The Kentucky Art and Craft gallery, and the Louisville Visual Art Association); 4 academic conferences were organized and 2 books were published - all simultaneously. As Shelly puts it, "After that experience, no project is too large for me. I am energized and excited by the prospects of new adventures!"

References are available for any of these projects on request.


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