By Michael O’Sullivan
Friday, December 20, 2013
Originally shown at the Brooklyn Museum, and drawn from that institution’s acclaimed collection of decorative arts, the exhibition “Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts” opens Friday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The show features 35 quilts dating from the late 18th century to as recently as 1995. It’s not just a collection of beautiful handmade crafts, but also an examination of changing perceptions of women’s cultural output, particularly those artifacts that traditionally have been relegated to second--class status because of their origins as domestic objects, or because they were made collectively, rather than individually.