Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sarah Mary Taylor

Here's a book recommendation: Just How I Picture It in My Mind: Contemporary African American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. This is Lily doing her best Vanna White impersonation:

The book features 48 quilts from primarily Alabama (including Gee's Bend). One of my favorite quilters, Sarah Mary Taylor from Yazoo, Mississippi, has 5 quilts in the book. This is The Lord is My Shuper:

An excerpt from the book: "Story quilts, also called 'narrative' quilts, belong to the venerable tradition of using art to transmit knowledge from one generation to the next. ... A subcategory of story quilts is talking quilts, which spell out messages in actual letters, and the message forms the entire design of the quilt top. ..."

One of Sarah Mary Taylor's quilts, Bible Verse Quilt: The Lord is My Sheperd, was a big inspiration when I started playing around with letters in my quilts. None of my quilts has ever ended up looking anything like hers, but I love the idea of the words being the sole focus. I have a picture of this quilt in the excellent (and also highly recommended) book Quilts: a Living Tradition by Robert Shaw.

Hmm, it's interesting that the quilts in Just How I Picture It belong to a fine art museum, not a folk art museum.


Kathie said...

Well now, I'm going to have to find a copy of this book pronto! African American quilting is so inspiring to me. No one seems to have told those ladies about the quilt police and they are much the better for it, aren't they?

Juliann said...

This looks like a great book. We was an exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum a few years ago called The Tools of Her Ministry and there were some wonderful quilts that remind me of the one you shared too.

Lucy said...

Wow this book looks so interesting !!!

Nancy said...

Talk about irony. I grew up about 50 miles from Yazoo City, MS. I'll have to check this book out and read about her.

Karen said...

Oh, just look at Lily. She wants to make letter quilts, too.

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