Stories and Studies of African American Quilters
An authoritative account of the powerful bonds between generations of African American quiltmakers
In Crafted Lives: Stories and Studies of African American Quilters Patricia A. Turner explores the culture and recent history of African Americans through the creations and wisdom of nine quilters. Turner profiles quilters who exemplify the range of black women and men dedicated to the making of quilts, and she shows how their craftwork establishes order and meaning in their lives. The artisans comprise eight women and one man, ranging from teenagers to octogenarians, representing an array of education and income levels, and living across the United States, including Alaska.
Turner also probes the ways in which African American quilts and quilters have been depicted, discussed, criticized, and characterized. From the displays of Harriet Powers's creations at the turn of the twentieth century to the contemporary exhibits of such black art-quilts as those promoted by Carolyn Mazloomi, and such utilitarian expressions as the celebrated examples from Gee's Bend, Alabama, Turner uses quilts to assess the level of control African Americans have had or have not had over the materials they craft and the art they leave as legacy to new generations.