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Amish Quilts and Modern Art

Welcome! Our collection of antique Amish quilts is displayed in a separate gallery (CLICK ON "ALL GALLERIES" AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE). This gallery is intended to illustrate some common threads (no pun intended) between quilts created by the "plain people" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and modern paintings and collages which, in most cases, were created many years later. We are aware of no direct connection between artists like Frank Stella, Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Josef Albers, Victor Vasarely, Ad Reinhardt and Kenneth Noland and the Amish. Certainly, the paintings and collages were created in an entirely different context than the Amish quilts. The paintings were intended to be displayed as works of art. The quilts were intended to cover beds or as gifts. The Amish frown on displays of pride, and they consider the conscious creation of art to fall in this category. However, the similarities in color and graphics between Amish quilts and abstract art can be striking. A note about the Chuck Close comparison. Someone approached me at an exhibit of our quilts, pointed to the star and said "that reminds me of Chuck Close." Others made a similar observation. At first, I didn't get it. Then, I realized they were focusing on the pixilated border in the quilt and the pixilated effect in some of Close's works.

LATEST NEWS: "Amish Abstractions," an exhibit of 48 our quilts, is 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.
Amish Center Square quilt c.1930
Amish Center Square quilt c.1930
Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
Roman Stripes crib quilt-Kansas 1920-30
Roman Stripes crib quilt-Kansas 1920-30
Frank Stella: fez.
Frank Stella: fez.
Ellsworth Kelly collage
Ellsworth Kelly collage
Amish Nine Patch-Midwest c.1920
Amish Nine Patch-Midwest c.1920
Sol Lewitt
Sol Lewitt
Amish Stripes crib quilt-Wisconsin c. 1930
Amish Stripes crib quilt-Wisconsin c. 1930
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Amish Center Diamond-Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Amish Center Diamond-Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Josef Albers
Josef Albers
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Amish Center Square quilt Lancaster Cnty, PA c. 1930
Amish Center Square quilt Lancaster Cnty, PA c. 1930
Amish Center Diamond-Petersheim family PA c1925
Amish Center Diamond-Petersheim family PA c1925
Sol Lewitt
Sol Lewitt
Josef Albers
Josef Albers
Amish Center Diamond-Barbara Fisher Lancaster Cnty, PA
Amish Center Diamond-Barbara Fisher Lancaster Cnty, PA
Amish Diamond (1 of a pair) Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Amish Diamond (1 of a pair) Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Sol Lewitt
Sol Lewitt
Lone Star-Lapp family Smoketown, PA Circa 1930
Lone Star-Lapp family Smoketown, PA Circa 1930
Lone Star-Lapp family Smoketown, PA detail
Lone Star-Lapp family Smoketown, PA detail
Chuck Close-self portrait
Chuck Close-self portrait
Sol Lewitt cubes.jpg
Sol Lewitt cubes.jpg
Tumbling Blocks-Ohio c.1930
Tumbling Blocks-Ohio c.1930
Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
AmishTumbling Blocks-Ohio or Indiana c.1925
AmishTumbling Blocks-Ohio or Indiana c.1925
Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Amish Bars-Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Amish Bars-Lancaster Cnty, PA c.1930
Peter Halley-acrylic on paper
Peter Halley-acrylic on paper
Sol Lewitt -diagonal stripes
Sol Lewitt -diagonal stripes
Amish diagonal triangles c.1930
Amish diagonal triangles c.1930
Sol Lewitt-stripes
Sol Lewitt-stripes
Joseph's Coat-Menonite c.1890
Joseph's Coat-Menonite c.1890
Amish Bars-Lancaster Cty PA Rebecca Zook c.1930
Amish Bars-Lancaster Cty PA Rebecca Zook c.1930
Frank Stella-Hyena Stomp
Frank Stella-"Hyena Stomp"
Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
Klaus Moje (glass)  Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Klaus Moje (glass) Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown
Amish Roman Stripes crib quilt-Ohio c.1930
Amish Roman Stripes crib quilt-Ohio c.1930
Sol Lewitt-walldrawing
Sol Lewitt-walldrawing
Astrid Fitzgerald-installation of paintings
Astrid Fitzgerald-installation of paintings
Donna Bowman-oil
Donna Bowman-oil
Frank Stella
Frank Stella
Victor Vasarely
Victor Vasarely
Amish Center Square-Arthur, IL c.1930
Amish Center Square-Arthur, IL c.1930
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Astrid Fitzgerald-acrylic on canvas
Amish Bowtie-Ohio c.1930
Amish Bowtie-Ohio c.1930