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'Block by Block' Opens, Volckening Presents on Aug. 4

'Block by Block' Opens, Volckening Presents on Aug. 4

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum will unveil a new exhibition and feature a guest lecturer during First Friday at the museum on Aug. 4.

Bill Volckening, a nationally known author and collector, will give a free lecture at 5:30 p.m. A self-described “quilt magnet” with a particular fondness for 1970s polyester quilts, pieces from his private collection are now showing at the museum in “Off the Grid: The Bill Volckening Collection.”

“Bill is an amazing collector and scholar,” said Leslie Levy, Ardis and Robert James Executive Director of Quilt House. “He is also a good friend to the museum and we enjoy his energy and sense of humor. His lectures are always fun and informative.”

Born in New Jersey, Volckening has lived in Oregon since 1998. He purchased his first quilt in 1989. This soon evolved from collecting for home décor to collecting to preserve and celebrate the craft.

“Block by Block: American Quilts in the Industrial Age,” the new exhibition, examines the development of the block pattern, considered the quintessential American quilt form. While early examples of block-style quilts feature European elements—such as a center medallion—during the 1820s and 1830s American makers moved toward the allover block patterns. By the mid-century, this style was in full force.

“We are excited for people to discover this new research done by a young scholar, who delved deeply into the subject matter,” said Curator of Collections Carolyn Ducey. “The exhibit includes some of our most prized early 19th Century quilts.”

The exhibit builds on guest curator Janice Frisch’s investigation of this development, which will be featured in the forthcoming book, “American Quilts in the Industrial Age, 1760-1870.” Edited by Ducey and Patricia Cox Crews, the comprehensive catalog of the IQSCM’s collection will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in February 2018.

“It has been an outstanding experience to work with renown scholars to produce the second catalog of the museum’s collections, which are some of the most significant in the world,” Ducey said. “The information in this book is well-researched, well-written and provides new and exciting information about our American quilt history. The quilts, themselves, are incredibly stunning.”

“Block by Block” opens in the museum’s Peg Coryell Gallery and will run through Nov. 30.

These exhibitions were made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Additional support was provided by Friends of International Quilt Study Center & Museum.

Public programming at Quilt House is supported by the Mary Ann Beavers Fund for Public Programming and Outreach, Mark and Diann Sorensen Fund for Public Programming and Outreach and Marion Wright Public Programs and Excellence Fund.

First Fridays at Quilt House run from 4-7 p.m. and offer free admission to the galleries in addition programs like the lecture. The museum, located at 1523 N. 33rd St., is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Visit www.quiltstudy.org to plan your visit.

The museum's mission is to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts. Established in 1997, the International Quilt Study Center is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.