Sears Quilt Contest 01: Introduction

Sears Roebuck & Co. with headquarters in Chicago was a financial backer of the 1933 World’s Fair, known as The Century of Progress Exposition.  To drum up interest in the Fair nationwide, Sears announced a national quilt contest in January 1933 with prizes totaling $7500.  Over 24,000 quilts were entered by the contest deadline in May 1933.  It still holds the record for the most contest entries.  Not only was it a huge success, it had a major impact on the quilt revival of the 1930s.

Century of Progress - World Without End
Aurora See Dyer
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
May 1933
Private Collection

The quilt Century of Progress-World Without End is an original design submitted by Chicagoan Aurora See Dyer. It did not win a prize in the 1933 contest, but Waldvogel and Brackman chose it as the signature quilt for the Patchwork Souvenirs exhibit where it was used for the cover design of the book and exhibit brochure.

Merikay Waldvogel
All rights reserved

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