DENVER, CO.- Opening Saturday, March 19, 2005, at the Denver Art Museum, Amish Quilts: Kaleidoscope of Color - From the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown, presents an array of grand quilts with colorful geometric designs that foreshadow the work of modern artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt and Mark Rothko. Thirty years ago, Stephen Brown and his wife, Faith, who currently reside in Calif., began building what is today one of the country's most notable private collections of Amish quilts. However, their collection is not an encyclopedic representation of Amish quilts, but rather a reflection of their aesthetic preferences. Running through Sunday, June 19, 2005, Amish Quilts takes the visitor on a visual journey through the exhibition that begins with examples and variations on large-scale geometric patterns from the early 20th century and moves on to increasingly optically complex patterns. An entire room is devoted to small quilts, mostly crib quilts that show a range of patterns. After a display of illusionist and kaleidoscopic examples, the exhibition ends with two "crazy quilts." "The exhibition is designed to lead the viewer on a visual odyssey that grows in intensity. The arrangement of the quilts encourages a 'sensory' as well as cerebral understanding of the Amish aesthetics," said Dr. Alice Zrebiec, Curator of Textile Arts at the Denver Art Museum. Also in the exhibition, there will be an extensive array of reading materials for visitors to browse through to learn more about the Amish and quilts. Visitors also can view an excerpt from a PBS documentary film and record their own "quilt story" on a web cam to share with other visitors to the exhibition.
Saturday, March 19, also is National Quilting Day. Originating with "Quilters' Day Out," organized by the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society in 1989 to celebrate the rich tradition of quilt making in Kentucky, this celebration of quilting grew to a national level. The first National Quilting Day was observed in 1992 and is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in March, and has grown to a global celebration for all quilt makers. In honor of National Quilting Day, the Denver Art Museum will offer $1 off an adult admission to every person who brings in a picture of their favorite quilt to the Museum.