News & Archives


3 Faces of Gee's Bend: Quilts from Gee's Bend, Alabama

12/06/2004 - 01/21/2005
New York, NY

In the winter of 2002-03, quilts from the tiny, African American town of Gee's Bend, Alabama, burst into worldwide visibility through an exhibition, "The Quilts of Gee's Bend," presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Gee's Bend unique history, its geographical isolation enforced by the looping Alabama River, its people's distinctive mores and common descent from the slaves that had tended the land - was revealted to be linked to a bold aesthetic that emphasized both individual flair and community traditions.

Sponsored by The Durst Organization at two lobby galleries in midtown Manhattan in 2004-2005, the exhibition "The Three Faces of Gee's Bend" presented three incarnations of the now widely recognized Gee's Bend style, as embodied in the works of a "traditionalist" (Lucy T. Pettway), an "eccentric" (Irene Williams), and an "outsider" (Mary McCarthy).

Shelly Zegart co-curated this exhibit with L.L.Powers.

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