Who is American? Skirball exhibition in L.A. answers the question with quilts for every age and class.
The Skirball quilt is based on the idea that each person’s life is a little piece of a larger whole, and quilts can be the only connection between generations.
The exhibition takes you on a journey through a collection of quilts designed to celebrate and honor the people, events, and accomplishments in the lives of our young people.
The quilts in Skirball, which are on view at the American Library in Los Angeles from February 8 through May 5, bring our American history to life through the stories of our people: from the first American settlers, to the Civil War, the growth of the South in the 19th century, to African-Americans during that history, to immigrants and other newcomers in today’s world.
The Smithsonian Institution’s American History Museum in the New York Times called the exhibition “an essential introduction to the complexity of American life in the 20th century.”
“It’s a great, great opportunity to get people interested in American history,” said curator Amy E. Whiteley, who is the American Library’s director until January 2016.
“When you take this exhibit on, and you take the students and you show them this amazing artwork, it’s such a great experience for them,” she said.
“The exhibition is in every museum and in every school in America, but I think it’s only in this one museum that you have the chance to share this with your children and grandkids and you can tell them when you look at these quilts, that you’ve been alive since 1775 or 1776 or even 1777.”
The Skirball quilts — and accompanying exhibition catalog — were