Quilt Treasures: Cuesta Benberry, An African American Quilt Scholar

Cuesta Benberry, of St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the twentieth-century's pioneers of research on American quiltmaking and she was the pioneer of research on African American quiltmaking.  Benberry was a founding member of the American Quilt Study Group, was inducted into the Quilter's Hall of Fame in 1983, was among the first honorees of Faith Ringgold's Anyone Can Fly Foundation, and is a Quilt Treasure in the on-line multi-media project of Michigan State University Museum and the Alliance for American Quilts.
In 1977, she gave the Quilter's Hall of Fame her study collection of over 800 quilt blocks, a scrapbook, and a few pieces of ephemera.  In 2003, Cuesta gifted the American Folk Art Museum with the non-African American portions of her quilt ephemera collection.  In 2007, Cuesta passed away leaving behind a legacy of public scholarship and her collections. In mid 2008, her family gifted the Michigan State University Museum with her collection of African and African American quilts and her quilt history collection and the museum also acquired Cuesta's extensive collection of quilt kits.  In 2009, the American Folk Art Museum transferred their Benberry Collections to the MSU Museum so that the bulk of her work could be in one place where it could be more effectively accessed for research and educational uses.

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