"Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories" to Travel to the Skirball Cultural Center

BOSTON (March 10, 2022)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced that Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories will travel to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where the exhibition will be on view from November 2022 through March 2023. Organized by the MFA, Fabric of a Nation showcases nearly 50 remarkable textiles by a variety of individuals—male and female, known and unidentified artists, urban and rural makers, immigrants, and Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and LGBTQ+ Americans. The exhibition explores how the quilt, which is often seen today as a timeless, quintessentially “American” art form, has in fact continuously evolved, shaped by a broadly underrecognized diversity of artistic hands and minds. Dating from the 17th century to the present day, the featured works reveal a rich—and richly complicated—story of the nation’s shared history, contributing to the evolving conversation about what defines the American experience.

“The Skirball always seeks to offer insight into the connections between distinctly Jewish history and values and the broad diversity of American efforts toward freedom and equality. These layered treasures tell those stories and we are so honored to have this opportunity to share them here,” said Jessie Kornberg, Skirball Cultural Center President and CEO.

Nearly all of the works in Fabric of a Nation are drawn from the MFA’s significant collection of textiles. Highlights include the iconic Pictorial quilt (1895–98) by Harriet Powers (1837–1910) as well as several recently acquired contemporary works by artists including Bisa Butler (born 1973), Carla Hemlock (Kanienkeháka [Mohawk], born 1961), Sylvia Hernandez (born 1961), Virginia Jacobs (born 1944), Carolyn Mazloomi (born 1948), Tomie Nagano (born 1950), Rowland Ricketts (born 1971), Gio Swaby (born 1991) and Michael C. Thorpe (born 1993). At the Skirball, the exhibition will also feature works by Sanford Biggers (born 1970) and Sabrina Geschwandtner (born 1977).

Added Sheri Bernstein, Skirball Museum Director, “We are thrilled to share this landmark exhibition with LA audiences. Where better than in our city—with its remarkable diversity and its stark divisions—to bring visitors together to explore our country’s rich and complex history, with extraordinary quilts as our storytellers?”

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), houses a global collection encompassing nearly 500,000 works of art, from ancient to contemporary. For nearly 50 years, the Museum has shared its deep collections and curatorial expertise with audiences around the world through traveling exhibitions. The MFA is located at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. For more information, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Skirball Cultural Center

The Skirball Cultural Center, open to the public since 1996, has established itself as one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles. It is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. People of all communities and generations are welcome to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society. The Skirball advances its mission through the display and interpretation of its significant museum collection and changing exhibitions; an award-winning children’s and family destination inspired by the Noah’s Ark story; the annual development, production, and presentation of public programs for adults and families that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; and innovative educational programs for students and teachers. For current information, please visit skirball.org.


Karen Frascona