Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change brings historical and contemporary works together in critical dialogue to consider how quilts have been used to voice opinions, raise awareness, and enact social reform in the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Disrupting our expectations of quilts as objects that provide warmth and comfort, this exhibition will explore the complicated and often overlooked stories quilts tell about the American experience, offering new perspectives on themes including military action and protest, civil rights, gender equality, queer aesthetics, and relationships with land and the environment. While addressing these powerful themes, Radical Tradition will highlight how the strategies and materials of quiltmaking over nearly two centuries have called into question long-established hierarchies, both in the art world and in society at large. Incorporating a wide range of media—from cotton and wool to salvaged wood, paint, and celluloid film—the objects on view will challenge traditional definitions of what a quilt is and the form it can take.
Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change is supported in part by 2020 Exhibition Program Sponsors Taylor Cadillac and ProMedica, Checker Distributors, the TMA Ambassadors and the Ohio Arts Council.