Quilts materialize the bonds of home, family, and community as they are passed down from generation to generation. Yet they are also records of our shared history, interwoven with broader social, cultural, and economic legacies that make up the complex fabric of the United States.
Layered Legacies invites readers to consider the multilayered stories stitched into quilts made in the American South between the late-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Featured are more than thirty bed coverings and related objects from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and Old Salem collections. Foregrounding the masterful artistry of women, these bed coverings are expressions of love, objects of exquisite craftsmanship, and material documents containing hidden stories of long-forgotten women, both white and Black, wealthy and enslaved, whose hands created and cared for these important textiles.