In early 2018, a distinquished gentleman walked into the Museum along with a friend. He asked to speak to the Curator about an exhibition proposal. That man was Jim Tharpe and we’ve become well acquainted with him since then.
Jim lives in Seattle and began collecting his family’s quilts in the early ‘90’s. “I’ve been receiving quilts all my life. My grandmother sent me off to college with a quilt.” he tells. “I also lost some of them – not thinking much about them.”
Then in 1990, Jim’s mother gave him a mid-19th century quilt that had belonged to his grandmother. The hexagonal patchwork pineapple quilt was made by one of Jim’s ancestors, a slave named Molly. Jim began to gather more of his family’s quilt legacy, many made during or immediately following their years in slavery.
As Jim’s collection grew, his visits to the Museum and enjoyment of the many pieces from our Permanent Collection we had on display helped him gain a greater appreciation for the treasure in his keeping. So we were thrilled when he asked us to consider an exhibit of these precious Civil War era quilts from his family.
In a recent conversation with Jim, a comment stood out to me that I later asked him about. He had said that he looked into a lot of options of where to present this first exhibit, including Paducah, San Jose, and others, and the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum was his No.1 choice. When I asked him why, he said, “First and foremost, your reputation. You’re one of the best at presenting this type of exhibit. Secondly, I like the community that’s been built up around the Museum, the support you receive, and the wonderful staff and volunteers.”
This exhibit, opening January 30, 2019, reflects not just the history of Jim’s family but also our nation’s history in a very real way! The pieces, along with documentation and pictures Jim has gathered, create a compelling story of an African American family’s journey through several generations. We are also excited to be able to share this with school children who will tour this exhibit during Black History Month as part of our partnership with Fidalgo Island Quilt Guild.
This could not happen without support from friends like you!
Of course, you understand that. You have shown that you believe in sharing these priceless pieces of our past. The Museum presents at least 20 exhibits per year, including the Landmarks Gallery. Many of these exhibits are drawn from our Permanent Collection.
It takes anywhere from $2,626 to $4,376 to present an exhibit.
The majority of that cost is typically advertising, shipping, and staff time. Other expenses include printing, wall signage and text, hanging or display materials, etc. This Civil War exhibit will require a great deal of time and effort to present successfully.
Your gift will help cover the costs related to presenting this or one of the many other exhibits already planned for 2019.
Won’t you please help us continue to present these historic exhibitions, as well as today’s contemporary quilts and fiber arts? Please make your gift before December 31st and support our exhibitions and programs for the coming year!
Support Your Museum!
Our 2019 Year-End Appeal is underway and we are relying on your support.
Please give your gift today! Thank you!
Please give your gift today! Thank you!
The mission of the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum is to present exhibitions and educational programs in all fiber arts that enrich and inspire, honor cultural traditions, and celebrate the creative spirit.
We envision the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum as a world-class exhibition facility with comprehensive and stimulating educational programs in all fiber arts. Recognized as a premiere source for research, we will be the foundational core of a passionate, vibrant, and evolving arts community. We are here to inspire, teach, and preserve fiber art traditions and culture for future generations.
Our collection focuses on the textiles of the Pacific Rim that both exemplify tradition and reflect contemporary trends. The collection will serve both exhibition and educational purposes, and ensure its preservation for future artists, enthusiasts, and students.