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October 29, 2010

Quilt Scholar Explores History by the Stitch

More than just a blanket, quilts carry the life and times of their makers inscribed in their simple fabric. On Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m., independent quilt scholar Mary Holton Robare will explore those histories at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

The journey begins with the Pidgeon Family Quilt, circa 1850, now in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection. In addition to its remarkable style and craft, many of its blocks contain names, dates and locations. That information, when added to the correspondence of the quiltmakers, illustrates the intimate role quilting played in the lives of 19th-century Virginia Quakers begins to emerge.

The relationships of the quilt inscribers lead us all the way to the ancestors of author Willa Cather - upon whom many of her characters seem to be based. Mary Payne, the name of a former slave who was sheltered by the Quakers, appears on a block of the Quaker Valley Quilt.

Admission included in all Historic Area and museum passes.

This presentation is a Distinguished Scholar Lecture, funded by the Horatio Hall Whitridge and Gracia Grieb Lecture Series Endowment.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121