Quilt of the Month


June 2014

June 2014

Rainbow Stripes
E.S. Reitz
Circa 1890-1910
Possibly made in Pennsylvania
73 x 80 inches
IQSCM 2003.003.0041
Jonathan Holstein Collection

Rainbow Stripes was made by E.S. Reitz, possibly in Pennsylvania, circa 1890-1910. Part of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum’s Jonathan Holstein Collection, it was first displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1971 exhibition, Abstract Design in American Quilts. Widely credited with bringing art world attention to quilts, the exhibition’s catalog featured this quilt on its cover.

Holstein and his co-curator Gail van der Hoof, identified this quilt as visually similar to work by Kenneth Noland and other Color Field painters. Later, this quilt appeared in Holstein’s book Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition.

This quilt is also included in Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon by Janneken Smucker, an alumna of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design program and a former IQSCM graduate assistant.

View a high resolution image of Rainbow Stripes on the Google Art Project.

Read more about the quilt and Abstract Design in American Quilts on World Quilts: The American Story.