Made in Moultrie County, Arthur, Illinois, United States
Wool and cotton
72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm)
Purchase, Korda Caplan, Mary Erf and The Edgar J. Kaufmann Foundation Gifts, 2003
Not on view
The Amish community in Arthur, Illinois, has been stable and prosperous since its beginnings in 1865, when Amish people from communities farther east moved west to Illinois in search of open land to farm. This piece reflects the influence of the quilting traditions of the Pennsylvania Amish since it is pieced of richly colored wools of the type they favor. But because the religious strictures of the Arthur community are somewhat more relaxed than those in Pennsylvania, Arthur quiltmakers are allowed a greater degree of creativity in their designs. The Arthur Amish are especially known for a group of rather eccentric quilts from the early twentieth century based on crazy patterns, as seen in this example.
The Amish community in Arthur, Illinois, has been stable and prosperous since its beginnings in 1865. Some of the people living where this quilt was made came from the older Amish communities in Pennsylvania; others arrived from Ohio and Indiana. Both Midwestern and Pennsylvania Amish quilt-making traditions are apparent in Arthur quilts. Like the Lancaster County Amish, Arthur quilters use primarily high-quality, richly colored wools. Some Arthur quilts are made in repeating-block patterns like those of many Midwestern Amish examples, whereas others are centrally focused, like patterns found on Pennsylvania quilts. Because of the general lack of church conflict in the Arthur community, the religious strictures there are somewhat relaxed, allowing individual makers a greater degree of creativity. The Arthur community is especially known for a group of rather eccentric quilts based on Crazy piecing, evident in this example. [Peck 2015; adapted from Amelia Peck, "American Quilts & Coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 2007]
Stella Rubin, quilt dealer who in turn bought from dealer who had purchased quilt in Arthur, Illinois