Quilts of Southwest China

Quilts of Southwest China

Quilts of Southwest China

Textiles are material evidence of history and culture and can tell us much about trade, religion, traditions, migration, communities, and individuals. The intangible characteristics—the uses, meanings, stories, skills and knowledge about production—associated with these textiles are often integral to the identity and cultural heritage of individuals and communities. 

The textile traditions in China of making and using quilts or bedcovers have received little attention by scholars, collectors, and museums; few examples are in public or private collections and little has been published on them. The research and collecting done for Quilts of Southwest China provides some of the first documentation of the intangible and tangible cultural heritage associated with the practices of piecing and appliquéing fabric together to form artistic and functional textiles.

Come explore this new territory of Chinese textile traditions with us.


This exhibition would not have been possible without the commitment of the following institutions to engage in and support a collaborative, bi-national research inquiry into the intangible and tangible aspects of a material culture tradition in southwest China:

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan, USA), Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana, USA), Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA), Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kunming, Yunnan, China), Guangxi Nationalities Museum (Nanning, Guangxi, China), Guizhou Nationalities Museum (Guiyang, Guizhou, China), and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

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Project Credits

Project Credits
Project Credits

The Quilts of Southwest China project, of which this traveling exhibition is a part, grew out of initiatives between the American Folklore Society and the Chinese Folklore Society to cultivate scholarly exchanges and collaborative projects.

Special thanks for the financial support of the Henry Luce Foundation, Delia Koo MSU Asian Studies Center Grant, Asian Cultural Council, MSU Inclusive Excellence Grant, MSU Office of Chinese Programs and the Traditional Arts Exhibition Endowment, Michigan State University Museum. 

Special thanks to the following additional individuals for their contributions to this project:
American Folklore Society: Dr. Timothy Lloyd, Bill Ivey, Dr. Juwen Zhang, Chen Xi and Dr. Michael Ann Williams
Chinese Folklore Society: Dr. Chao Gejin and Song Junhua
Guangxi Nationalities Museum ( 广西民族博物馆) : Wang Wei, Liang Zhimin, Ai Lan, Liu Zhifu, Xu Xin, Luo Changqun, Chen Jun, Liang Xiaoyan and Wang Yucheng (王頠, 梁志敏, 艾兰, 刘治福, 徐昕, 罗长群, 陈君, 梁小燕, 王玉成)
Guizhou Nationalities Museum ( 贵州民族博物馆) : Gao Chong, Li Yonghua, Tian Jun, Guo Huilian, Xu Yi, Wu Hao, Wang Xiaojia, Li Hongtao and Ma Liya (高聪, 李永华, 田军、郭慧莲, 徐漪, 吴昊, 王晓佳, 李洪涛, 马丽亚)
International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Leslie C. Levy and Marin F. Hanson
Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University: Dr. Jason Baird Jackson, Sarah Hatcher and Matt Sieber
Museum of International Folk Art: Dr. Marsha C. Bol and Dr. Carrie Hertz
Yunnan Nationalities Museum ( 云南民族博物馆) : Xie Mohua, Pu Weihua, Qi Guoqing, Du Yunhong, Jiang Zhen, Li Jin, Luo Wenhong, Guo Shaoni, Zhou Haoling, Chen Xiaodan and Wang Li (谢沫华, 普卫华, 起国庆, 杜韵红, 蒋贞, 李晋, 罗文宏, 郭少妮,周浩玲, 程晓丹, 王立)
MSU MATRIX Digital Humanities and Social Sciences Center: Dr. Dean Rehberger and Alicia Sheill
MSU Asian Studies Center: Dr. Siddarth Chandra 
MSU Office of China Programs: Dr. Weijun Zhao
MSU Office of Inclusive Excellence: Paulette Granbury-Russell, Jennifer Mitchell and Audrey Bentley
Lester P. Monts, Director, UM Confucius Institute; Pamela Najdowski, Textile Treasures (Santa Fe, NM); Dr. Patricia Stoddard; Dr. Andrew and Lily Wang; Dr. Yang Yuan (Chinese Museum of Women and Children); Liyang Wang (East China Normal University); Qu Shengrui; Mindy Wang; Ashley Wu; Jin Yuansha; and SongYi Wu, Yunnan Nationalities Museum Folk Handicrafts Sho



Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment 
Friends of International Quilt Study Center & Museum
Moda United Notions

Event Date
Friday, June 3, 2016 to Wednesday, September 28, 2016