Quilts of China Project

In China, traditional bed coverings and other household items have often been, like American quilts, made of small pieces of fabric that are patched and appliquéd together to form artistic, functional textiles.

The Quilts of China Project springs from a US-China Intangible Heritage Initiative, of the American Folklore Society and the Chinese Folklore Society, intended to increase partnerships between US and Chinese institutions and individuals interested in advancing a global awareness and understanding of the intangible and tangible cultural heritage of China.

A bi-national consortium of American and Chinese museums for the folklore, ICH, and museums component of this overall effort is comprised of leaders representing the Michigan State University Museum (USA) and the Yunnan Nationalities Museum (China) and these four partners: Museum of International Folk Art (USA), Guizhou Nationalities Museum (China), Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University (USA), and Guangxi Museum of Nationalities (China). For the Quilts of China Project, these six are joined by the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA).

Project goals include:

  • facilitating documentation on Chinese quilt traditions
  • presenting results of documentation in scholarly forum, publications, exhibitions, and in the Quilt Index

One of the first outputs of these efforts is a collaborative exhibition “Quilts of Southern
China/ 中國南方的拚布, which will debut September 28, 2015 at the Michigan State University Museum after which it will tour nationally to the US partner museums.

Support for the first phases of this effort has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation (through the American Folklore Society), MSU Asian Studies Center (through a Delia Koo Grant), Asian Cultural Council, and the MSU Museum’s Traditional Arts Exhibition Endowment.

Special thanks to the following individuals who have contributed time, energy, expertise, and resources in the project’s first phase: Marsha MacDowell, Beth Donaldson, Mary Worrall, Lynne Swanson, Pearl Yee Wong, Micah Ling, Kurt Dewhurst, Sunny Wang, and Kristen McCools (Michigan State University Museum); Marsha Bol and Carrie Hertz (Museum of International Folk Art); Gao Cong (Guizhou Nationalities Museum); Jason Baird Jackson and Sara Hatcher (Mathers Museum of World Cultures); Wang Wei and Lijun Zhang (Guangxi Museum of Nationalities): Xie Mohua, (Yunnan Nationalities Museum); Marin Hanson (International Quilt Study Center and Museum); Siddarth Chandra (MSU Asian Studies Center); Weijun Zhao, (MSU Office of China Programs); Dean Rehberger and Alicia Sheill, MATRIX, MSU; Qu Shengrui; Mindy Wang and Ashley Wu; Yang Yuan (Chinese Museum of Women and Children); Liyang Wang (East China Normal University); Chen Xi; Tim Lloyd (American Folklore Society); Patricia Stoddard; Andrew and Lily Wang; Jin Yuanshan; and Pam Najdowski.

View items from the Yunnan Nationalities Museum

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