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UofL Art Collection Receives
"International Honor Quilt" from Through the Flower
Photos of International Honor Quilt (courtesy of University of Louisville)
University of Louisville Press Release
Feb. 26, 2014
Judy Hughes (502) 852-6171
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The nonprofit art organization Through the Flower, founded by noted artist Judy Chicago, has gifted the "International Honor Quilt," an assemblage of more than 600 quilted triangles honoring women, to the University of Louisville's Hite Art Institute.
Chicago; her husband, photographer Donald Woodman; and representatives of the New Mexico-based Through the Flower attended the Louisville announcement today at UofL's Cressman Center for Visual Arts.
The colorful array of individual, interchangeable 2-foot triangles represents a wide range of stories from makers who answered Chicago's invitation to submit quilts honoring women of the quiltmaker's choice. The artwork was created in 1980 and accompanied Chicago's "The Dinner Party," a worldwide traveling exhibition celebrating women's achievements throughout history.
"The University of Louisville is proud to be the new home for the 'International Honor Quilt,'" Provost Shirley Willihnganz said. "We plan to use the power of its creation by hundreds of women to reach out to the public and across the university community in collaborative ways that further its impressive educational impact."
Quilt depictions range from world leaders such as Queen Elizabeth II, well-known figures such as author Agatha Christie and groups such as the League of Women Voters to the mothers, grandmothers, artists and teachers who influenced the quilters. Most quilts are accompanied by descriptions of their makers and subjects; Dr. Marilee Schmit Nason originally cataloged the works and provided registrarial materials.
Recognized quilt expert and Kentucky Quilt Project Inc. founder Shelly Zegart of Louisville, who met Chicago during a 1985 Louisville visit, was instrumental in arranging the gift to UofL.
"I am honored to have been the catalyst to bring the 'International Honor Quilt' to Kentucky, a state well-known for its quiltmaking traditions and activities. The University of Louisville Hite Art Institute was privy to a good splash of serendipity, many long-term relationships and most importantly the incredible generosity of Judy Chicago, Donald Woodman and the feminist art organization Through the Flower," Zegart said.
For more information, call John Begley, UofL gallery director, at 502-852-4483, or Zegart at 502-897-3819.
Shelly Zegart and Judy Chicago. Feb 27, 2014
In the Press
INTERNATIONAL HONOR QUILT FACTS
Assemblage of more than 600 two-foot individual, equilateral quilted triangles honoring women of the quiltmaker's choice, together with descriptions by most of the makers about the person or women's organization depicted in the quilts. This documentation is accompanied by registrarial materials compiled by Dr. Marilee Schmit Nason.
Through the Flower, the Belen, N.M.-based nonprofit feminist art organization founded in 1978 by world-renowned artist Judy Chicago. Since its inception, Through the Flower has worked with her to ensure that women's achievements are recognized and incorporated into cultural heritage. For more information, visit www.throughtheflower.org.
University of Louisville Hite Art Institute, UofL's fine arts department, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and operates four art galleries.
Versality of the interchangeable quilts and the artwork's potential to give voice to the women's stories will allow for a wide range of multidisciplinary educational uses and scholarship.
Shelly Zegart of Louisville, a recognized American quilt expert and founder of the Kentucky Quilt Project Inc., was the catalyst for the placement of the "International Honor Quilt" at UofL. For more information about Shelly, visit www.shellyzegart.com.
The "International Honor Quilt" was initiated by Judy Chicago in 1980 when "The Dinner Party" was exhibited in Houston. Women were invited to submit small quilts commemorating the accomplishments of a woman or women's organization; these quilts that came to be known as the "International Honor Quilt" traveled worldwide on display with "The Dinner Party." After the tour, they became part of Through the Flower's archives, together with the documentation and curatorial material, until they were gifted to the University of Louisville. Each quilt is a personal statement about the quilters themselves, whether as memorials to loved ones, as testimony to the impact of "The Dinner Party" or tributes to figures or organizations that influenced the makers. The range includes well-known leaders (Queen Elizabeth, Mother Teresa), women's organizations (League of Women Voters), authors (Agatha Christie) and the mothers, grandmothers and teachers who influenced the quilters.
The uniformity of the quilts reflects the basic guidelines that were established: each displays the name of the person or institution honored, the place of origin and the country. The triangles repeated the shape of "The Dinner Party" and combined many media and techniques.
Judy Chicago, a pioneer in feminist art and art education, has a career spanning more than five decades. Her numerous books including her autobiographical "Through the Flower: My Struggles as a Woman Artist." Besides "The Dinner Party" and its accompanying "International Honor Quilt," her many well-known art projects have included the "Birth Project," "PowerPlay," "Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light" and "Resolutions: A Stitch in Time." In 2014 a series of exhibitions and events around the country will mark her 75th birthday. For more information about Judy Chicago, visit www.judychicago.com
For more information about the International Honor Quilt project, please
visit Through the Flower website.