Collection Website: http://www.cah.utexas.edu/
Briscoe Center for American History
The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin contributed two projects to the Quilt Index.
The Winedale Quilt Collection Project:
The Briscoe Center entered data and digital images for approximately 120 traditional American quilts from its Winedale Quilt collection. The Briscoe Center continues to add records into the Quilt Index for other quilts from its collection.
Texas Quilt Search Project:
The Briscoe Center entered data and digital images for the 144 quilts in Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes, Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1836-1936 (Vol. 1) and 1936-1986 (Vol. 2) (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986, 1990). Quilt photography for both books was by Sharon Risedorph and remains the property of Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes. The Texas Quilt Search quilts represent some of the finest quilts made in Texas or brought to Texas. Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes selected those in Lone Stars, Volume I (1836-1936) from more than 3,500 quilts analyzed during the three-year Texas Quilt Search sponsored by their non-profit Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt Association, founded in 1980, in twenty-seven cities and towns across Texas. The quilts shown in Lone Stars, Volume II (1936-1986) were all made in Texas since the Texas Centennial in 1936. Bresenhan and Puentes identified some quilts during the Texas Quilt Search and others during the Great Texas Quilt Round-Up, their yearlong contest during which contemporary quilters produced quilts on various Texas themes.
The Briscoe Center for American History is an organized research unit and public service component of The University of Texas at Austin. The Center collects, preserves, and makes available documentary and material culture evidence encompassing key themes in Texas and U.S. history. Researchers, students, and the public mine the Center's collections for a wide range of academic, professional, and personal uses. Center collections also inspire in-house projects, including books, exhibits, programs, films, and educational materials.
Quilt-Related Ephemera Collections include:Kathleen McCrady Quilt History Collection
Extent: 12 ft. 3 in.
Content: Quilting has always been a part of Kathleen McCrady's life. During her childhood, her mother and maternal grandmother made quilts to cover beds. McCrady's mother taught her to sew as a child. Her mother-in-law and her mother were also avid quilt makers. In the late seventies, McCrady became active in the Austin Area Stitchery Guild and a subgroup, the Nitestitchers, who met informally on Sundays to socialize and quilt. In 1979, McCrady became a charter member of the Austin Area Quilt Guild. She has held various positions in the guild including President (1980), Bee Coordinator (1981), Historian (1985), Ad Hoc Committee Chair for Quilting Shows (1993) and Conservation Chair (2000). Kathleen McCrady also taught quilting classes and workshops. In 1995, she established the Quilt History Study Hall and offered classes on quilt history using her extensive collections of quilts, fabrics, and ephemera. Several of Mrs. McCrady's quilts have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have been featured in Quilters Newsletter Magazine.
Kathleen McCrady’s collection currently contains 30 quilts and 20 quilt tops; many of these quilts are family quilts or were made by Kathleen. Others are ones she collected for personal enjoyment or as instructional tools in her Quilt History Study Hall (see below). Mrs. McCrady plans to donate an additional 9 quilts, probably this month (June, 2011). The collection also contains fabric swatches, quilt blocks, fabric remnants, and cotton sacks.
Her collection also contains patterns, manuscripts, newspaper and magazine clippings, calendars, photographs, quilting exhibit programs, books, and sewing notions. Records of the Austin Area Quilt Guild include announcements, quilt show programs, workshop applications, membership rosters, and financial reports dating from 1979 to 2000 and document the groups' biennial quilt shows, conservation activities, workshops, and monthly meetings. "An Overview of a Quilter's Life (in Quilts): The Collection of Lora Mae McNeil" is a group of quilting memorabilia and quilting patterns. McCrady acquired the materials from 1999 from a friend of McNeil's son. The documents include McCrady's notes regarding a meeting between her and McNeil in 1999.These materials document Kathleen McCrady's involvement in quilt making, quilt appraisal, and documentation of quilting history. Mrs. McCrady collected many of these items to support her quilt history teaching and, more recently, her free classes in her Quilt History Study Hall, which she held in her home. All items from her Quilt History Study Hall are described in detailed accession cards she prepared.
Joyce Gross Quilt History Collection
Extent: 320 ft.
Content: Joyce Gross is a native Californian with a passion for quilts and a deep curiosity about the lives of their makers. She spent nearly forty years assembling this extraordinary collection and is widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities on twentieth-century American quilt making.
Joyce's career as a quilt historian, publisher, teacher, and collector has been critical in promoting the study of quilt history in the United States. She shared her love of the art with the public by organizing quilting tours throughout the nation; hosting her celebrated annual quilting retreat in Point Bonita, California; and founding and publishing the Quilters' Journal from 1977 to 1987. In 1980, Joyce helped organize the American Quilt Study Group. In recognition of her many contributions to American quilting, Joyce Gross was inducted into the Quilter's Hall of Fame in 1996. She is considered a "Quilt Treasure" by the Quilt Alliance.
Her historically important quilt collection numbers more than 200 quilts and quilt tops, including quilts by American quilters from the late 1930s to 2002, including Pine Hawkes Eisfeller's The Garden (1938) and Tree of Life (1939). In 1999, the Ultimate Quilt Search named these two Eisfeller quilts as among the twentieth-century’s one hundred best American quilts. Other prominent twentieth-century American quilters whose works are represented in the Joyce Gross collection include Bertha Stenge, Emma Andres, Florence Peto, and Dr. Jeannette Throckmorton. The 1804 Quilted Crewel quilt in the collection is the earliest dated quilt in the Briscoe Center's Winedale Quilt Collection. The study of these textiles are supported by Joyce’s extraordinary collection of related research materials, including books, journals, exhibit catalogs, subject and biographical files, patterns and kits, visual materials, and ephemera documenting twentieth-century quilting history.