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Founded as a cotton plantation around 1820, Gee's Bend, Alabama, was isolated from much of the surrounding countryside. After the Civil War, the formerly enslaved people remained as tenant farmers and developed a distinctive local culture. Strikingly innovative, abstract quilts were often the only colorful or decorative furnishing in otherwise plain living spaces. Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond is the first exhibition to highlight one of Gee's Bend's most original artists, Mary Lee Bendolph, her predecessors and progeny, and the artistic dialogue they share with artists beyond their quilting community.
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The Missouri History Museum is proud to be a part of Innovations in Textiles, a biennial collaborative event in St. Louis that investigates the state of contemporary textile arts.