MAR 19 Gallery Talk: Must You Be So Formal?

Viewing quilts as modern art—merely a formality?

Looking for some artistic and intellectual nourishment during your lunch break? Join us on Wednesdays for short gallery talks to explore highlights from special exhibitions and NMWA’s collection with museum staff.

This week, Director of Education Deborah Gaston discusses selections from “Workt by Hand”: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts. This talk explores the formal qualities shared by quilts and modern art. 


Over time, quilts have been revered as nostalgic emblems of the past, dismissed as women’s work, and hailed as examples of American ingenuity. This exhibition breaks new ground by examining quilts through the lens of contemporary feminist theory. Revealing this medium’s shifting cultural status, the exhibition explores issues of anonymity versus authorship and fine art versus craft.

National Museum of Women in the Arts