First Friday

4:30 - 7 PM
Description: Join the International Quilt Study Center & Museum for the grand opening of “Amish Quilts and the Crafting of Diverse Traditions.” Guest curator Janneken Smucker, IQSCM fellow and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate alumna, will give a presentation on the exhibition and her research at 5:30 p.m.

First Friday offers FREE admission to the galleries and refreshments from 4:30-7 p.m.

The exhibit will explore the design, production and culture of Amish quiltmaking and the diversity and adaptive nature of their craft. Amish quilts have often been referred to as “old dark quilts” by museum goers, and many collectors, curators, critics and dealers have called them “classic Amish quilts.” In fact, many Amish quiltmakers have made quilts that do not look distinctly Amish to outsiders. These less familiar quilts share much in common with the diverse quiltmaking traditions of dominant American culture, which grew out of 19th-and 20th-century industrialization and consumer culture.

A fifth generation Mennonite quiltmaker, Smucker is author of “Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon,” which was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013. She is assistant professor of history at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, where she specializes in digital history and American material culture. She is currently the president of Quilt Alliance, a national non-profit. Smucker earned her master’s in textile history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her doctorate in the history of American civilization from the University of Delaware.