What's in a Name? Inscribed Quilts

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January 13 - December 2, 2012
Curation of What's In A Name? Inscribed Quilts
Carolyn Ducey, IQSCM Curator of Exhibitions
Jonathan Gregory, IQSCM Assistant Curator of Exhibitions
Design by Marin Hanson
A person’s name is more than a few letters
and sounds that form a recognizable word. Names like Lady Gaga or Michael Jordan or Bill Clinton immediately conjure up enough stories and pictures in the mind to fill many pages. In other words, a name can represent everything we know about a person.
What’s In A Name? Inscribed Quilts is about the names of ordinary, but mostly forgotten, people
inscribed on the quilts in this gallery. Using a combination of genealogical and historical research, a team of IQSCM staff, volunteer genealogists and affiliated scholars have rediscovered the stories and sketched the outlines of individual’s lives from long ago. In some cases, the research led us to living descendants who shared real photographs and stories handed down in their families.
What is in a name? Names inscribed on these quilts reveal networks of relationships
and shared experiences and values such as friendship, honor, service, community and memory. Without the simple addition of pen and needle to cloth these people may have been forgotten. Our hope is that What’s In A Name? reveals that there is a story behind every name and inspires others to make their own inscribed quilt. And we hope some will take the heirloom quilt covered with names from their closet shelf and start discovering the stories in those names.

A full color catalog of this exhibition will be available from the museum, made possible by a generous grant from the Quilter's Guild of Dallas.
Download the Catalog Introduction
Order the catalog.

Programming associated with this exhibition:

Public tours are FREE with Admission Tuesdays through Saturdays at 11:00 AM and on Saturdays at 1:00 PM. During the months of June, July, and August public tours are also given at 2:00 PM on Sundays.
Other programming associated with the exhibition includes:

  • Friday, January 13, 2012, 10:00 AM
    Exhibition Opening
  • Sunday, June 24, 2012, 2:00 PM
    Public Lecture, "Enrolled Upon the Bed - American Name-Inscribed Quilts" by Xenia Cord
    Calendar Details
  • Friday, September 7, 2012, 5:30 PM Free Admission
    Public Lecture, "Mark My Words" by Julie Silber sponsored by the Byron and Sara Rhodes Dillow Excellence Fund
    Calendar Details


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

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