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Virtual Insights: Quilts Revisited

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Enjoy a conversation on quilts and curatorial practice with Curator of Folk Art Emelie Gevalt and acclaimed quilt scholar and curator Elizabeth V. Warren. From appliqué and pieced to revival and political quilts, this discussion will introduce notable works from the museum’s collection, as well as quilting techniques and traditions. Hear more about how quilts have served as powerful visual records of individual and communal responses to personal experiences and current events.

Emelie Gevalt is Curator of Folk Art at the American Folk Art Museum, where she recently curated Signature Styles: Friendship, Album, and Fundraising Quilts, as part of a series of quilts exhibitions at the museum’s location in Long Island City. In addition to her curatorial work, Gevalt is pursuing her doctorate in American art history at the University of Delaware, where her scholarship has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Track PhD Fellowship. Often looking at earlier material through the lens of twentieth-century histories of collecting and collective memory, her work encompasses research interests in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American portraiture, painted furniture, the Colonial Revival movement, and African American material culture and representation. Gevalt received her BA in art history and theater studies from Yale University and her MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Her Winterthur thesis, on the topic of early eighteenth-century painted chests from Taunton, Massachusetts, was recently published in the Chipstone Foundation’s American Furniture. Her research has been supported in part by grants from the Craft Research Fund and the Decorative Arts Trust. She has previously held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Christie’s, New York.

Elizabeth V. Warren has devoted nearly 40 years to writing about, and curating exhibitions of folk art, with a special focus on quilts. Warren served as American Folk Art Museum Curator from 1984 to 1991, and since then has been a consulting and guest curator. She has organized a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions for the museum, many of which have been accompanied by books, including Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts (2011) and The Perfect Game: America Looks at Baseball (2003-2004), and most recently Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art (2019). In 2007, she was elected to the museum’s Board of Trustees, and was elected President in 2019. Warren also serves on the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she was a journalist at House Beautiful covering the home furnishings market as well as art and antiques. While working at House Beautiful she received a Masters of Arts from New York University in folk art studies.

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