Visiting the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY
On 8 June, the four kids from my family, most of their children and grandchildren, and two long lost cousins and their significant others assembled in Paducah, KY for a remembrance of the anniversary of my father’s death. Dad has been gone for ten years now. He is very much missed. We assembled in Paducah because that is the home of his birth, where he was raised and where he died, and it is the home of a significant portion of our family members from my dad’s side. Our family members had homesteads here. They rose to significant ranks in the military: one was a CMSgt in the Air Force; another was a Rear Admiral in the Navy during WW II. Our grandfather owned a beauty school. Our grandmother worked at a significant hospital. The roots grow deep.
When dad was still living, he always suggested that we visit the quilt museum. After all, Paducah was growing by leaps and bounds in the arts. The quilt museum, for him, was a significant tourist destination, yet he could never get any of his children to visit during his lifetime. I have visited it before—years after he died—and loved it. It wasn't what I thought it would be. Before, when I thought about quilts, I thought about the type that—though lovely—were blocks of different material. I found, however, that the quilts at the museum are actually art pieces. There are themes and specific pictures. Through April of this year, there were quilts that highlighted significant female accomplishments.
Here are the current exhibitions:
Through July 9, 2019: Stories of West Africa
Through July 23, 2019: Love Stories (Jiaxie: wooden block textile dyeing technique used in the Tang Dynasty)
Through September 17, 2019: The work of Tula Pink
From October 11, 2019 to January 14, 2020: Quilts of Valor
From November 8, 2019 to January 7, 2020: Jane Dunnewold
You can see some examples of the work created by these artists here.
Now that we are returning to Paducah, I felt that a visit to the museum was required. The quilts were gorgeous and full of cultural representations. They are very much like looking at art pieces in The Louvre. But don't let me tell you what to see. Let me show you and let you judge for yourself. . .