Shelly ZegartShelly Zegart is an internationally recognized expert on American quilts and a community leader in Louisville, KY. She collects, curates exhibitions, writes, lectures about, and appraises fine quilts. Shelly continues to serve on community boards and is involved in a number of community projects. Her most recent effort is the Kentucky to the World initiative.

Zegart has curated many exhibits in the U.S. and abroad, and lectures on all aspects of quilt history and aesthetics. She has built private and corporate collections around the world and for more than 25 years she has been a member of the Appraisers Association of America.

Successfully completed a 7-hour course on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the Congressionally-reorganized set of appraisal standards promulgated by The Appraisal Foundation: completed on October 11, 2013, effective through December 31, 2017.

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VIDEO: 2008 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival
 An interview at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in 2008. (Japanese & English; courtesy of NHK - Japanese Public Television.)

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Archive of Projects

Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon

View materials in 'Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon' project archive

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The Kentucky Quilt Project

The Kentucky Quilt Project

Your Quilts

Do you have a fine quilt that you are thinking about selling? Contact Shelly to discuss how she can help.

"Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics"

Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics

Shelly produced this the landmark nine-part documentary series that offers a fresh, relevant exploration of quilts. Find out more...


News at a Glance

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Price Reduction: One of a Kind Piece of American History - Rare Antique Signed Quilt c.1840

Major price reduction on this rare and outstanding 19th century quilt from a prominent New York and New Jersey family heirloom collection. This one of a kind Red, White & Blue Trapunto Star, is a Mary Mapes Dodge family quilt. Mary Mapes was noted American author and editor of children’s books, best known for Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates, which became an instant best seller and eventually a children's classic. Mary's family was well known in Newark and a number of New Jersey histories mention her father and family. Find out more here!

Rare Antique Applique 1840s Signed Quilt - Detail
Rare Antique Applique 1840s Signed Quilt - Detail
Rare Antique Applique 1840s Signed Quilt - Detail
Rare Antique Applique 1840s Signed Quilt - Detail
Rare Antique Applique 1840s Signed Quilt - Detail


Kentucky to the World Founder Shelly Zegart Wins Governor's Award in the Arts

Shelly Zegart - drawing by August Northcut - 2020LOUISVILLE, Ky. (November 13, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that Founder and CEO of Kentucky to the World Shelly Zegart has received the state's most prestigious arts award in recognition of her dedication to sharing Kentucky's rich arts history with the citizens of the commonwealth.

The Governor's Awards in the Arts are comprised of nine distinct categories that celebrate the extraordinary and significant contributions of Kentuckians and Kentucky organizations to the state's art heritage.

Zegart has been honored with the Folk Heritage Award for her international work in quilts, a quintessential art form of Kentucky. This award is presented to individuals who have made an outstanding effort to perpetuate and promote Kentucky's unique artistic traditions. She joins the ranks of such luminaries as Bluegrass Musician JD Crowe, African American Folk Artist Marvin Finn, International Ballet Dancer Wendy Whelan and many more.

An internationally recognized expert on American quilts and a community leader in Louisville, Zegart is an avid collector, exhibition curator, author, lecturer and appraiser of fine quilts. Her curated quilt exhibits have been featured across the United States and abroad. Her lectures cover all aspects of quilts, from history to aesthetics.

"This recognition is one to which ANY artist, arts advocate, or arts presenter of significance in Kentucky aspires to," says Zegart. "My Governors Award in the Arts brings the extraordinary vision and aesthetic achievements of Kentucky quilt making to the attention of the public, and respects and celebrates the medium of quilting as a form of artistic expression."  More...

2020 Kentucky Governor's Awards in the Arts - Broadcast of the Awards Ceremony

  2020 Governor's Awards in the Arts: Folk Heritage Award - Shelly Zegart, Jefferson County

  Press Release


NEW: Highly sought after Gee's Bend quilts made by Loretta Pettway Bennett now available

For those of you with a keen artistic eye and a desire to own a quilt made by one of the most creative of the Gee's Bend quiltmakers working today I am offering this group of quilts for your consideration. I have known Loretta since the very beginning of the exploding interest in Gee's Bend quilts and I am thrilled that she is letting me have this group of quilts to offer to you. More...

Alligator Eyes Quilt
DNA Quilt
Denim Pants Legs Quilt
Sweeps Quilt
SF Quilt
Mommy Queenie Quilt


A 1850s quilt from a French quilt collector

Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight Variation of Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight (c. 1850, cotton, excellent condition). A French collector has had this prime example in her collection for several decades. More...

Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight
Variation Lady of the Lake or Birds in Flight


Last group of Gee's Bend Area quilts from a private collection

New selection of historic quilts from the Gee's Bend area! This is your opportunity to own one of the treasures from the amazing quiltmakers from Gee's Bend area. They have not been offered publicly until now.

This group of quilts was purchased by a private collector from the women of the Gee's Bend area through Bill Arnett more than fifteen years ago. This same collector has also assembled and donated a significant folkart collection to his local art museum, where he has been actively involved for many years. These quilts represent the work of most of the well-known quiltmakers and some of their families. Many of the quilts were made early in their careers. More...

Road to California
Ain't Deuce + a Quarter
Rolling Star
Two-Sided Quilt


Through the Flower Gifts the International Honor Quilt to the University of Louisville's Hite Art Institute

International Honor Quilt - Through The FlowerThrough the Flower is happy to announce it has gifted the International Honor Quilt to the University of Louisville and its Hite Art Institute. In its new home, the Honor Quilt will be used for educational purposes and be permanently available for active research and study, furthering Judy Chicago's and Through the Flower's goals of teaching through art.

Recognized quilt expert and Kentucky Quilt Project Inc. founder Shelly Zegart of Louisville was instrumental in arranging University of Louisville's acquisition of the collective artwork." I am honored to have been the catalyst to bring the International Honor Quilt to Kentucky, a state well known for its quilt making traditions and activities. The University of Louisville's 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 Through the Flower," Zegart said.

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The Zegart Fund for the Alliance for American Quilts is established.

The Alliance for American Quilts recently published a press release about The Zegart Fund for The Alliance for American Quilts.

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Catalogue now available

Catalogue Cover «Shelly Zegart: Passionate About Quilts» catalogue beautifully documents the retrospective exhibition of her more than thirty years work with quilts held at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville, Kentucky (Sep 4 Oct 26, 2008).    More...

 Order from Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft


New articles added to Publications Collection

Old Maid, New Woman' - Article Title Page"Old Maid, New Woman": In times of high interest in politics in general and womens' roles and choices in specific, it is more than time for Shelly Zegart's «Old Maid, New Woman» article to be publicly available for the first time since it was originally publsihed in Quilt Digest in 1986. Susan Elizabeth Daggett, for whom the quilt was made to celebrate her 30th birthday, chose to remain single in the 1870's, as did a surprising number of her friends. Their work with the Young ladies Aid society in Canandaigua, NY, and their enduring friendship through the years was a force for women's activism and choices.   Read article...

'Myth and Methodology' - Article Title Page "Myth and Methodology": Just released and available to download - Shelly Zegart's groundbreaking article unpicks African American Quilt Scholarship, published in January 08-Selvedge, an international textile magazine. This article is a benchmark in understanding the problems with myth and methodology in this highly charged arena beginning in the late 1970's.   Read article...


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