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Our Amish Quilt Collection: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown

The quilts in this gallery were all created by Amish women between 1880 and the 1940's. We first saw an Amish quilt in the 1970's and were knocked out by the graphics and vibrant colors, by how "modern" these antique quilts appear to be. We continue to be amazed that the "plain people"--people who isolate themselves and reject worldly things-- created quilts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that foreshadowed modern abstract artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Frank Stella and Victor Vasarely. Unlike painters, however, the Amish did not originally make their quilts for public exhibition because they do not believe in demonstrating worldly pride in their work. You can click on "all galleries" at the top of this page, then scroll down and click on "Amish Quilts and Modern Art" to see some comparisons between antique Amish quilts and abstract paintings or go to this link:

http://www.pbase.com/brownsf/amish_quilts_and_modern_art


Quilts in our collection have been depicted in books and calendars and featured in several museums, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor (curated by Julie Silber and Bob Shaw) and the Spencer Gallery at the University of Kansas. The University of Michigan Museum of Art published an 80 page color catalog on the occasion of these exhibits, with essays by Eve Granick and Joe Cunningham. An exhibition of 40 quilts from our collection was on display in 2005 at the Denver Art Museum.

LATEST NEWS: "Amish Abstractions," an exhibit of 48 our quilts, was at the de Young Museum in
San Francisco from November 14, 2009 to June 6, 2010. A catalog is available at the museum, from Amazon.com and other book sellers. Additional items related to the exhibit are available at the de Young gift shop.

Technical notes: YOU CAN ENLARGE ANY IMAGE BY CLICKING ON IT and then selecting the image size at the bottom of the page.
de Young Catalog
de Young Catalog
deYoung Museum, San Francisco
deYoung Museum, San Francisco
deYoung exhibition poster
deYoung exhibition poster
Denver Art Museum
Denver Art Museum
Center Diamond, Lancaster County, PA, c. 1900
Center Diamond, Lancaster County, PA, c. 1900
121: Ocean Waves variation, Holmes County, OH c. 1910 80x81 made by Clara Beachy
121: Ocean Waves variation, Holmes County, OH c. 1910 80x81 made by Clara Beachy
120: Original pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1920-30, 33x43
120: Original pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1920-30, 33x43
010:Broken Star-Holmes County, OH c. 1930  80x76
010:Broken Star-Holmes County, OH c. 1930 80"x76"
002:Bars-Rebecca Zook, Lancaster County, PA c.1910 83x76
002:Bars-Rebecca Zook, Lancaster County, PA c.1910 83"x76"
004:Bars Variation-Lancaster County, PA c.1915  79x80
004:Bars Variation-Lancaster County, PA c.1915 79"x80"
030:Tartan variation-Mifflin County PA c.1930  68x68
030:Tartan variation-Mifflin County PA c.1930 68"x68"
116: Unnamed pattern-Arthur, IL c. 1915-25 37.5 x 30.5
116: Unnamed pattern-Arthur, IL c. 1915-25 37.5 x 30.5
118: Log Cabin, Arthur, IL
118: Log Cabin, Arthur, IL
117: Unnamed pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1915-1920
117: Unnamed pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1915-1920
008:Railroad Crossing -Holmes County, OH-dated in quilting 1888 Made by Melinda Miller  69x89
008:Railroad Crossing -Holmes County, OH-dated in quilting 1888 Made by Melinda Miller 69"x89"
119: Log Cabin, Holmes County, OH c.1920
119: Log Cabin, Holmes County, OH c.1920
114: Center Star crib, Arthur, IL c.1930
114: Center Star crib, Arthur, IL c.1930
115: Bear Claw Variation crib Hutchinson, KA c.1920
115: Bear Claw Variation crib Hutchinson, KA c.1920
100: Crazy Star, Arthur, IL circa 1920, 63x 73 wool
100: Crazy Star, Arthur, IL circa 1920, 63"x 73" wool
111: Original Pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1925
111: Original Pattern, Arthur, IL c. 1925
112: Original Pattern
112: Original Pattern
113: Lancaster, PA c. 1930
113: Lancaster, PA c. 1930
109: Ocean Waves Variation, Elkhart County, IN c.1930
109: Ocean Waves Variation, Elkhart County, IN c.1930
110: Roman Stripe, Mrs. Neil Bontrager, Buchanan, IA c. 1940
110: Roman Stripe, Mrs. Neil Bontrager, Buchanan, IA c. 1940
108: Ocean Waves dated 1916, Holmes County, OH
108: Ocean Waves dated 1916, Holmes County, OH
106: Jacobs Ladder, Holmes County, OH  c.1930, 38 x30
106: Jacobs Ladder, Holmes County, OH c.1930, 38" x30"
107: Pinwheel crib quilt, Holmes County, OH c. 1930 31x31
107: Pinwheel crib quilt, Holmes County, OH c. 1930 31"x31"
105: Crazy Quilt, Lancaster, PA c. 1930 83 x82
105: Crazy Quilt, Lancaster, PA c. 1930 83" x82"
034:Lone Star-Lapp family-Smoketown ,PA  c.1930  81x80
034:Lone Star-Lapp family-Smoketown ,PA c.1930 81"x80"
096: Double Nine Patch, Lancaster County, PA c. 1930 82.5x82.5
096: Double Nine Patch, Lancaster County, PA c. 1930 82.5"x82.5"
009:Diamond Variation-Lancaster County, PA c.1930  71x76
009:Diamond Variation-Lancaster County, PA c.1930 71"x76"
011:Center Diamond variation-Sadie Lapp, Lancaster County,PA c.1915  82x82
011:Center Diamond variation-Sadie Lapp, Lancaster County,PA c.1915 82"x82"
006:Diamond Variation-Lancaster County ,PA c1930  80x78
006:Diamond Variation-Lancaster County ,PA c1930 80"x78"
098:Tumbling Blocks/Stairway to Heaven, Holmes County, OH circa 1935   67x75
098:Tumbling Blocks/Stairway to Heaven, Holmes County, OH circa 1935 67"x75"
018:Tumbling Blocks- Holmes County, OH c. 1930  89x85
018:Tumbling Blocks- Holmes County, OH c. 1930 89"x85"
019:Tumbling Blocks-Ohio or Indiana c.1925  72x70
019:Tumbling Blocks-Ohio or Indiana c.1925 72"x70"
099:Bricks in Bars crib quilt, Ada Gingerich, Arthur, IL circa 1930 46x76
099:Bricks in Bars crib quilt, Ada Gingerich, Arthur, IL circa 1930 46"x76"
111:Unnamed Pattern
111:Unnamed Pattern
101: RomanStripes, Ohio circa 1930 38x28
101: RomanStripes, Ohio circa 1930 38"x28"
097: Center Diamond-Lancaster County, PA c. 1930 80x80
097: Center Diamond-Lancaster County, PA c. 1930 80"x80"
095: Lattice crib quilt, Haven, KS c. 1930 43x53
095: Lattice crib quilt, Haven, KS c. 1930 43"x53"
092: LogCabinVariation crib quilt, Arthur, IL circa 1925 35x26
092: LogCabinVariation crib quilt, Arthur, IL circa 1925 35"x26"
093: Triangles crib quilt, Kalona, Iowa circa 1930 41x33
093: Triangles crib quilt, Kalona, Iowa circa 1930 41"x33"
094: ZigZag (Roman Stripe variation) crib quilt, Haven, KS circa 1930 35x26
094: ZigZag (Roman Stripe variation) crib quilt, Haven, KS circa 1930 35"x26"
089: Original Pattern, Somerset County, PA c.1930  30x25
089: Original Pattern, Somerset County, PA c.1930 30"x25"
104: 36 patch w-stripes, Arthur, IL c. 1930 33x31
104: 36 patch w-stripes, Arthur, IL c. 1930 33"x31"
091: Original Pattern, Holmes County, OH  c.1930   35x39
091: Original Pattern, Holmes County, OH c.1930 35"x39"
090: One Patch,      Buchanan County, IA      c. 1940 31x25
090: One Patch, Buchanan County, IA c. 1940 31"x25"
103: BowTie, Arthur, IL circa 1930 48x37.5
103: BowTie, Arthur, IL circa 1930 48"x37.5"
102: BowTie, Holmes County, Ohio circa 1930, 77x65
102: BowTie, Holmes County, Ohio circa 1930, 77"x65"
021:Bow Tie-Holmes County, OH c.1930  85x75
021:Bow Tie-Holmes County, OH c.1930 85"x75"
001:Broken Dishes crib -Holmes County,OH  c.1930  37x32
001:Broken Dishes crib -Holmes County,OH c.1930 37"x32"
003:Bars-Lancaster County,PA c.1930  76x68
003:Bars-Lancaster County,PA c.1930 76"x68"
005:Nine Patch-Midwest c.1920  74x62
005:Nine Patch-Midwest c.1920 74"x62"
007:Center Diamond-Barbara Fisher ,LancasterCounty,PA c.1900  82x82
007:Center Diamond-Barbara Fisher ,LancasterCounty,PA c.1900 82"x82"
020:Railroad Crossing Holmes County, OH c. 1930  72x53
020:Railroad Crossing Holmes County, OH c. 1930 72"x53"
056:Railroad Crossing crib-Holmes County, OH  c.1930 41x36
056:Railroad Crossing crib-Holmes County, OH c.1930 41"x36"
012:Crazy-Arthur IL c.1930 78x63
012:Crazy-Arthur IL c.1930 78"x63"
013:Crosses and Losses-Holmes County, OH -dated in quilting 1898  80x69
013:Crosses and Losses-Holmes County, OH -dated in quilting 1898 80"x69"
014:Broken Dishes-Holmes County, OH 1930  68x87
014:Broken Dishes-Holmes County, OH 1930 68"x87"
015:Diagonal Triangles-Holmes County, OH     c.1930  80x68
015:Diagonal Triangles-Holmes County, OH c.1930 80"x68"
016:Birds in the Air-Holmes County, OH c.1910  86x72
016:Birds in the Air-Holmes County, OH c.1910 86"x72"
017:Unnamed pattern-Mifflin County ,PA c.1930  84x80
017:Unnamed pattern-Mifflin County ,PA c.1930 84"x80"
022:Double Wedding Ring-Holmes County, OH c.1920 78x65
022:Double Wedding Ring-Holmes County, OH c.1920 78"x65"
023:Ocean Waves-Holmes County,OH dated 1917  68x66
023:Ocean Waves-Holmes County,OH dated 1917 68"x66"
024:Unnamed pattern-Holmes County, OH c.1930 75x65
024:Unnamed pattern-Holmes County, OH c.1930 75"x65"
025:Old Maid's Puzzle-Holmes County, OH c. 1930  78x72
025:Old Maid's Puzzle-Holmes County, OH c. 1930 78"x72"
026:Nine Patch-midwest c. 1940  50x42
026:Nine Patch-midwest c. 1940 50"x42"
027:Roman Stripes crib Holmes County, OH  c.1930  46x38
027:Roman Stripes crib Holmes County, OH c.1930 46"x38"
028:Center Diamond-Petersheim family, Lancaster County,,PA c.1925  75x74
028:Center Diamond-Petersheim family, Lancaster County,,PA c.1925 75"x74"
029:Jacobs Ladder- Mifflin County,PA c.1910  81x68
029:Jacobs Ladder- Mifflin County,PA c.1910 81"x68"
031:Center Square-Arthur, IL c.1930   70x57 (front)
031:Center Square-Arthur, IL c.1930 70"x57" (front)
032:Center Square reverse side
032:Center Square reverse side
033:Evening Star-Holmes County, Ohio c.1930  83x70
033:Evening Star-Holmes County, Ohio c.1930 83"x70"
035:Roman Stripes-Holmes County,OH- initialed and dated 1912 in quilting  84x61
035:Roman Stripes-Holmes County,OH- initialed and dated 1912 in quilting 84"x61"
036:Tumbling Blocks-Holmes County, OH c.1930  88x75
036:Tumbling Blocks-Holmes County, OH c.1930 88"x75"
037:Bowtie-Holmes County, OH c.1930  85x70
037:Bowtie-Holmes County, OH c.1930 85"x70"
038:Broken Dishes-Ohio c.1915  71x64
038:Broken Dishes-Ohio c.1915 71"x64"
039:Diagonal triangles-Dena Raber, Holmes County, OH 1940  76x62
039:Diagonal triangles-Dena Raber, Holmes County, OH 1940 76"x62"
040:Double Wedding ring-Ohio or Indiana c.1930  77x75
040:Double Wedding ring-Ohio or Indiana c.1930 77"x75"
041:Indiana Puzzle-Midwest c.1930  79x46
041:Indiana Puzzle-Midwest c.1930 79"x46"
042:Log Cabin-Lancaster County PA c.1900  76x74
042:Log Cabin-Lancaster County PA c.1900 76"x74"
043:Roman stripes-Holmes County, OH c.1930  86x63
043:Roman stripes-Holmes County, OH c.1930 86"x63"
044:Ocean Waves variation-Holmes County, OH  c.1940  88x76
044:Ocean Waves variation-Holmes County, OH c.1940 88"x76"
045:Ocean Waves-Holmes County,  OH c. 1925  89x76
045:Ocean Waves-Holmes County, OH c. 1925 89"x76"
046:Ocean Waves Holmes County, OH-1927 J.B.  in quilting  84x74
046:Ocean Waves Holmes County, OH-"1927 J.B." in quilting 84"x74"
047:Maple Leaf-Holmes County, OH c. 1930  92x77
047:Maple Leaf-Holmes County, OH c. 1930 92"x77"
048:Baskets-LaGrange County, IN -dated in quilting 1935  83x69
048:Baskets-LaGrange County, IN -dated in quilting 1935 83"x69"
049:Stripes crib-Wisconsin c. 1930  59x42
049:Stripes crib-Wisconsin c. 1930 59"x42"
050:Baskets-Holmes County, OH  c.1920  72x68
050:Baskets-Holmes County, OH c.1920 72"x68"
051:Triangles-Holmes County,OH c.1930  44x34
051:Triangles-Holmes County,OH c.1930 44"x34"
052:Center Diamond (1 of a pair)-Lancaster County,PA c.1930  77x77
052:Center Diamond (1 of a pair)-Lancaster County,PA c.1930 77"x77"
053:Four Patch variation crib-Midwest 1930  53x35
053:Four Patch variation crib-Midwest 1930 53"x35"
054:Nine Patch crib-Indiana c.1940  70x44
054:Nine Patch crib-Indiana c.1940 70"x44"
055:Pine Trees crib-Holmes County, OH  c.1930  56x37
055:Pine Trees crib-Holmes County, OH c.1930 56"x37"
057:Sawtooth Basket crib-Midwest c.1930 40x32
057:Sawtooth Basket crib-Midwest c.1930 40"x32"
058:Snail's Trail crib-New Wilmington, PA c.1930  57x34
058:Snail's Trail crib-New Wilmington, PA c.1930 57"x34"
059:Sunshine and Shadow-Lancaster County PA c.1930.  89x86
059:Sunshine and Shadow-Lancaster County PA c.1930. 89"x86"
060:Roman Stripes crib quilt-Kansas     c.1910-20  37x45
060:Roman Stripes crib quilt-Kansas c.1910-20 37"x45"
061:Center Diamond-Lancaster County PA c.1930  72x72
061:Center Diamond-Lancaster County PA c.1930 72"x72"
063:Young Man's Fancy crib-Midwest c.1930  42x33
063:Young Man's Fancy crib-Midwest c.1930 42"x33"
064:Ocean Waves-Holmes County, OH-January 1,1926 in quilting  75x65
064:Ocean Waves-Holmes County, OH-"January 1,1926" in quilting 75"x65"
065:Ocean Waves-Holmes County, OH c.1920  69x61
065:Ocean Waves-Holmes County, OH c.1920 69"x61"
066:Ocean Waves-OH  c. 1920-reverse side
066:Ocean Waves-OH c. 1920-reverse side
067:Four Patch-Nine Patch Variation-Lebanon, OH c.1940   79x73
067:Four Patch-Nine Patch Variation-Lebanon, OH c.1940 79"x73"
068:Chinese Coins-Indiana c.1930  72x62
068:Chinese Coins-Indiana c.1930 72"x62"
108: Nine Patch
108: Nine Patch
069:Old Maid's Puzzle Holmes County, OH c. 1930.  81x63
069:Old Maid's Puzzle Holmes County, OH c. 1930. 81"x63"
070:Unnamed pattern-OH c.1930 82x66
070:Unnamed pattern-OH c.1930 82"x66"
071::Variable Stars crib Indiana c.1930  43x38
071::Variable Stars crib Indiana c.1930 43"x38"
072:Tumbling Blocks variation-Midwest c.1920  74x47
072:Tumbling Blocks variation-Midwest c.1920 74"x47"
073:Unnamed pattern-Holmes County, OH    c.1930 56x41
073:Unnamed pattern-Holmes County, OH c.1930 56"x41"
074:Philadelphia Pavement (Menonite)-PA c.1900  82x82
074:Philadelphia Pavement (Menonite)-PA c.1900 82"x82"
075:Rocky Road to California -Mifflin County, PA  initialed LAYc.1930  72x74
075:Rocky Road to California -Mifflin County, PA initialed "LAY"c.1930 72"x74"
076:Bowtie-Mercer County, PA c.1930  87x84
076:Bowtie-Mercer County, PA c.1930 87"x84"
077:Tumbling Blocks-Holmes County, OH  c.1930  81x65
077:Tumbling Blocks-Holmes County, OH c.1930 81"x65"
078:Triangles crib-Wisconsin c. 1920  41x33
078:Triangles crib-Wisconsin c. 1920 41"x33"
079:Double Wedding Ring crib -Holmes County, OH c. 1930  42x40
079:Double Wedding Ring crib -Holmes County, OH c. 1930 42"x40"
080:Stairway to Heaven-Holmes County, OH  c.1930  82x62
080:Stairway to Heaven-Holmes County, OH c.1930 82"x62"
081:Log Cabin (garden with fence and gate)-Menonite c.1900  95x82
081:Log Cabin (garden with fence and gate)-Menonite c.1900 95"x82"
082:Hole in the Barn Door Indiana- dated in quilting 1930  91x75
082:Hole in the Barn Door Indiana- dated in quilting 1930 91"x75"
083:Ocean Waves crib -Holmes County, OH  c.1930  42x38
083:Ocean Waves crib -Holmes County, OH c.1930 42"x38"
084:Boston Common-Holmes County, OH  c.1940  86x72
084:Boston Common-Holmes County, OH c.1940 86"x72"
085:Trip Around the World-Menonite c.1920  80x73
085:Trip Around the World-Menonite c.1920 80"x73"
086:Ocean Waves crib Illinois c.1925  41x36
086:Ocean Waves crib Illinois c.1925 41"x36"
087:Josephs Coat Menonite c. 1900  74x74
087:Josephs Coat Menonite c. 1900 74"x74"
088:Stars crib-Holmes County OH c.1940.jpg
088:Stars crib-Holmes County OH c.1940.jpg
University of Michigan Art Museum
University of Michigan Art Museum
Spencer Museum-Univ. of Kansas-Amish Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Spencer Museum-Univ. of Kansas-Amish Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy  Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian-Amish Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian-Amish Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery (photo courtesy Chicago Tribune)
Renwick Gallery
Renwick Gallery
Exhibit Catalog (University of Michigan Museum of Art, 80 pages)
Exhibit Catalog (University of Michigan Museum of Art, 80 pages)
u48%2fbrownsf%2fsmall%2f37105440.Christmascard4x6.jpg