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Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt at The Speed Art Museum
Loretta P. Bennett, American, born 1960, Medallion, 2005, Cotton and twill, 90 x 62 ½ inches. Collection of the Tinwood Alliance. Photo: Stephen Pitkin, Pitkin Studio, Rockford, Il.

LOUISVILLE, KY.-The Speed Art Museum is proud to host Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. This exhibition, on view January 2 through March 23, 2008, features the brilliant, bold quilts created in the twentieth century by a group of women who live in the small, isolated African-American community of Gee's Bend in southwestern Alabama.

The 50 quilts in the exhibition, created by 42 women spanning four generations, provide a fascinating look at the work of twentieth century artists who lived and worked in solitude.

Gee's Bend is located on a sliver of land five miles long and eight miles wide, a virtual island surrounded by a bend in the Alabama River. Isolated geographically, the women in the community created quilts from available materials using patterns of their own imaginative design. Like many American quilters, the women transformed a necessity into a work of art, but their innovative and often minimalist approach to design is unique.

The dynamic, abstract quilts' brilliant use of line and color demonstrate a highly developed talent for structure and design. Their focus on everyday concerns, such as salvaging discarded fabric, recycling old clothing, and finding ways to keep their families warm and comfortable, makes the extraordinary aesthetic appeal of their quilts even more remarkable.

The Speed Art Museum would like to extend a gift to the community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by offering free admission to Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt and Art Sparks Interactive Family Gallery from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Monday, January 21. The Speed is honored to celebrate the memory of a truly inspirational individual and a remarkable leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt has been organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Tinwood Alliances, Atlanta. Exhibition support in Louisville has been generously provided by AT&T, The Real Yellow Pages, Eleanor Miller, Hilliard Lyons and Woodward Hobson Fulton, LLC.

Tickets are $8, group rates are $6 per person. Groups of 10 or more qualify for ticket discounts. Call the Group Sales office at (502) 634-2960 or e-mail us at to order group tickets or for more information.

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