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Indigo Gives America the Blues

September 7, 2012 - June 2, 2013

Indigo has colored American cloth for centuries.
Derived from several different plants in the indigofera family, indigo dye produces a multitude of colorfast blues, from pale sky blue to deep midnight blue. Its range of long-lasting colors made it wildly popular and highly valued when it was first imported from India to Europe in the late 1400s, resulting in the nickname “Blue Gold.”
Antique American textiles of all kinds bear the mark of indigo.
Fabrics for clothing, interior furnishings and bedding all were dyed or printed with indigo. But as you look through this online exhibition, you will see that quilts, in particular, are an ideal source for appreciating the ways in which Indigo Gives America the Blues


Public tours are FREE with Admission (Tuesdays through Saturdays at 11:00 AM and on Saturdays at 1:00 PM.)
Other programming associated with the exhibition includes:

  • September 9, 2012, 4 p.m.
    Members only curator-led tour
    (call 402-472-6549 to become a Member and reserve your place)
    Calendar Event Details

  • September 28, 2012, 6 p.m.
    “A Night at the Museum: Celebrate the Blues!” with the FRIENDS of the IQSCM
    (visit or call 402-423-5614 for more information and to purchase a ticket)
    Calendar Event Details

  • October 19, 2012, 10 a.m.
    Documentary screening: “Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo”
    (79 minutes)
    Calendar Event Details

  • May 11, 2013, 1-4 p.m.
    Workshop: “Indigo Dyeing” taught by Jay Rich, textile artist
    (call 402-472-6549 for more information and to register)
    Calendar Event Details


This exhibition, publications, and programming were made possible through funding from the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and the Friends of the IQSCM.

Curation of Indigo Gives America the Blues
Marin Hanson, Curator of Exhibitions
Nao Nomura, M.A. graduate (2003)
Design by Marin Hanson

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