New and Recently Published
Exhibition Books

Fabric of a Nation
American Quilt Stories

Pamela A. Parmal, Jennifer M. Swope, Lauren D. Whitley, with a preface by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Format Regular Price Member Price
Hardcover $45.00

ISBN: 978-0-87846-876-8; 240 pages; 9.75 x 10.5 in.; 120 color illustrations

A mother stitches a few lines of prayer into a bedcover for her son serving in the Union army during the Civil War. A formerly enslaved African American woman creates a quilt populated by Biblical figures alongside celestial events. A quilted Lady Liberty, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln mark the resignation of Richard Nixon. These are just a few of the diverse and sometimes hidden stories of the American experience told by quilts and bedcovers from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Spanning more than 400 years, the 58 works of textile art in this book express the personal narratives of their makers and owners and connect to broader stories of global trade, immigration, industry, marginalization, and territorial and cultural expansion. Made by Americans of European, African, Native and Hispanic heritage, these quilts and bedcovers range from family heirlooms to acts of political protest, each with its own story to tell.

"Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories reveals a rich, complex and often overlooked history of North America as told from individual experiences manifested within the tradition of quiltmaking. The book illustrates how quilts are more than material objects of comfort and aesthetic beauty. They are archives of social, political and cultural histories." — Art Libraries Society of North America

About the Author

Pamela A. Parmal is Chair and David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts Emerita at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jennifer M. Swope is Associate Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Lauren D. Whitley is Senior Curator Emerita of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.