The South Carolina State Museum is opened its new exhibition, Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts, on November 13.
The new display traces the history and art of South Carolina made quilts. Featuring pieces from the museum’s collection, the exhibition highlights both the objects and their makers for an in-depth look at the quilt-making process and how it relates to cultural traditions throughout South Carolina history to the modern-day.
“Quilts can be objects of beauty, important pieces of folk art, and examples of fine craftsmanship while also being functional items that help keep us warm,” said State Museum Curator of History JoAnn Zeise. “However, when we examine a quilt and ask questions about the maker, the materials, and the stylistic influences we can use those answers to learn about the past.”
Bindings and Betweens takes a closer look at how quilts and their history are tied to people and places throughout South Carolina. An 1850s quilt made for a bride moving far away highlights personal connections and represents the networks of trade, power, and politics that accompany the binding of families through matrimony. Imported fabrics are also featured, as well as those treated with locally produced natural dyes revealing how some quilts can represent a bustling trade network stretching from England to Charleston and others help us uncover the connections between people and the land they lived on.
“As textiles are fragile, we are not able to display these quilts very often and usually only for limited periods of time,” said Zeise. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to share these amazing pieces with our guests and members.”
Dating from the early 19th century to the modern-day, Bindings and Betweens will feature 43 quilts with a wide variety of styles and designs on display, highlighting traditions that were brought across oceans and passed down through generations. Through exploring these pieces, the exhibition aims to reveal the things that bind us together and the spaces and connections between us.
The museum will kick off the exhibition with special activities on opening day November 13, including sewing demonstrations from members of Quilters of S.C. Guests can also enjoy a presentation on the history of the American sewing machine, fabric dyeing demonstrations, gallery tours, make-and-take crafts, and more. A full schedule of activities is available on the museum’s website at scmuseum.org.
Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts exhibition entrance and opening day activities are free with museum membership or general admission. General admission to the South Carolina State Museum is $8.95 for adults; $7.95 for Seniors; $6.95 for children; infants 2 and under are free. For more information about the museum, visit scmuseum.org.