WASHINGTON, DC – They are quilts that evoke their maker’s taste, position, and status. They are masterpieces stitched by many hands. These Virginia and Maryland quilts show how their makers’ designs moved with them and continued to show their origins. A new exhibition at the DAR Museum, featuring more than 30 early-American quilts, highlights not only the beauty of the textiles, but also the women who made the quilts.
For the Media
DAR invites inquiries from the media. A press release, curator biography and exhibition designer profile are available below, as well as selected images which may be used with attribution for media purposes. Please contact DAR for additional information, interview requests, or access.
Educational Program Inquires
Alden O'Brien is the curator for Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland Virginia. She has been curator of costume and toys at the DAR Museum since 1990. In 2003, Ms. O’Brien took over care of the textile collection. She has curated numerous costume and quilt exhibits, most recently Fashioning the New Woman: American Women and Fashion, 1890-1925. Alden O’Brien holds a Master of Arts in museum studies in costume and textiles from the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, and a Bachelors of Arts in art history from Barnard College.
The DAR Museum contracted with Assemble for exhibition and website design for Eye on Elegance: Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia. Assemble is a nonprofit design and media studio that works with institutions to create immersive narrative experiences onsite, online and in classrooms. Assemble has produced a variety of narrative experiences, including major exhibitions at Maryland Science Center, Longwood Gardens, and the National Building Museum. The organization is currently engaged in partnerships with scientists to present models of sustainability on the Chesapeake Bay and archaeologists researching the lives of enslaved African Americans in Maryland.
Download images for media use
Pieced and Stuffed Medallion Quilt, About 1810 and 1827
Made by Ludwell Harrison Goosley (1754-1813) and her daughters
105.5 in. W x 94 in. L
8-9 stitches per inch
Gift of the Massanutten Chapter (Virginia) Honoring Marian M. Duncan, NSDAR President General (1962-65); Conservation adopted by Carroll Campbell Strickland, Huntsville Chapter, AL, 62.194
Image Credit: NSDAR
Reverse Appliqué Flower Basket Quilt, Dated 1849
Made by Anna Catharine Hummel Markey Garnhart (1773-1860)
93 in. W x 95 in. L
7-8 stitches per inch
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Willard H. Markey and their daughters, Susanne Markey Bensing and Jane Markey Rivera, in memory of their son and brother, Fredric Willard Markey, 1947-1952, 91.463
Image Credit: NSDAR