Quilts are like pages from a vast encyclopedia of textiles, with their abundance of fancy silks and homespun wools speaking across the ages.
The quilts in Kaleidoscope were made in the United States, Canada and England, mostly during the 19th century. They were used as bedding, as lap robes and slumber throws, and as fancy piano covers in Victorian parlours. Most of these quilts are now orphans, their makers unknown, their ancestry obscure. The social messages they carried when they were made – who made them and why, for whom and under what circumstances – have evaporated, leaving behind elaborate kaleidoscopes of colour.
From the collection of Howard and Carole Tanenbaum.