Sometimes you need to get out of the office – away from the nuts and bolts of exhibition planning. You need to gain some perspective, remember not to take things too personally, keep the vision (and the faith). You need to remind yourself that there is a world beyond the confines of your desk and computer; leaving for work in the dark and going home in the dark can narrow your field of vision, you become blinkered. You suddenly crave adventure.
I decided to hop on a train and visit the American Museum in Britain, Bath. I’ve been so focused on British quilt making – working with the collection, sourcing images for the book, contextual material for the exhibition. Over the last five years I’ve tried to visit as many collections across the country as I could – and this was the perfect opportunity to gain a different perspective on the subject.
Colleagues at the American Museum were generous with both their time and their hospitality – we spent an entire morning discussing how we could work together, their plans for a major exhibition in 2010 showcasing the American Museum’s quilt collection and how we might market a UK ‘quilt trail’. Oh and I did eat an awful lot of very very good cookies ……..
Hawaiian Quilt, 20th Century
After the success of my trip to Bath I went awol from the Museum and nipped down to Winchester to catch ‘Quilty Secrets’ before it closes on the 15 November. It was a treat to see the ‘Jane Austen Quilt’ (yes I know technically it is a coverlet) – although I confess I’m eaten up with jealousy as I couldn’t secure it for the Quilts 1700-2010! I have another confession – I lust after the pair of boudoir bootees on display in ‘Quilty Secrets’. They were absolutely gorgeous – quilted bootees trimmed with fur. Honestly I’ve been fantasizing about these all week. I have visions of myself wafting around the bedroom, listening to Eartha Kitt, occasionally partaking of a glass of pink champagne and nibbling a violet cream. Yes there is definitely another world out there …. ..
For more information about the American Museum in Britain see www.americanmuseum.org. ‘Classic American Quilts’ will run from 13 March – 31 October 2010.
For more information about ‘Quilty Secrets’ – Hampshire’s unique quilt collection see www.discoverycentres.co.uk/winchester