Quilts at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

This past June, my husband and I were very fortunate to have spent 4 days in Boston – a fabulous city in which to be a tourist. There is so much history (great, guided walking tours along the Freedom Trail), the JFK Library, a vibrant waterfront, wonderful restaurants (having a lobster roll is an absolute ‘must’) and Duck Tours of the city and the Charles River. We had real excitement when our amphibious vehicle was rammed by a small sailboat taking part in a sailing lesson – the only injury was to the young sailor’s pride. This was a ‘first’ according to our very entertaining tour guide/driver.

The highlight for me happened quite by chance. While talking to the concierge in our hotel lobby, I noticed a display of tourist brochures and the word ‘Quilt’ jumped out at me. At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts was and exhibition entitled ‘Quilts and Color, the Pilgrim/Roy Collection’. The museum itself is one of the largest in the US and an amazing place to explore. The quilts were incredible, most of them dating from the mid to late 1800’s. According to the brochure, the show “…celebrates the vibrant color palettes and inventive quilts from the acclaimed Pilgrim/Roy Collection. Trained as artists, Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy built their collection by acquiring quilts with bold, eye-popping designs. The exhibition recognizes the artistic vision of quilt makers, and highlights artists who broke with conventional patterns and design.”

Apart from the sheer beauty of the quilts, I was struck by how contemporary many of them seemed. Even my husband was fascinated by the use of colour and the designs themselves – he lasted over 3 hours without complaint.

I am including a few photos which really don’t do justice to the quilts. For anyone who wants to know a bit more about this show, there is a YouTube video of Gerald Roy discussing the show.

Suzanne Patchell

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