Monday, 4 April 2011

Infinite Variety

Probably one of the most amazing exhibitions I have ever seen, Infinite Variety nearly brought me to tears as I stepped into the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall of Park Avenue Armory. The vast space was hung with 650 red and white quilts spanning three centuries or American quilt making. The show was created as a true visual spectacle, making you feel as a tiny Alice might have done with a whole pack of playing cards falling around her. Despite being the stars of their own show the visual impact of the quilts relied upon their display; contrasts of pattern juxtaposed in such diversity. To see so much pattern in one glance is a very rare thing indeed, and completely joyful. As one lady commented 'everyone is walking around with smiles on their faces, I've never seen that before at an exhibition'

Organised by the American Folk Art Museum, Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts showed just part of the vast quilt collection of Joanna S. Rose. 'While the idea of hundreds of quilts is impressive in the abstract, in actuality it is an unprecedented and immersive experience, both visually and physically.' The exhibition was designed and installed by New York company Thinc Design and is an absolutely inspired creation. 'This magical but ephemeral moment will ultimately be captured in the pages of a fully illustrated catalogue'... I can't wait, but I am so glad I was able to experience this phenomenon for myself. I will cherish the memory.

If you would like to see further photos or read more about the exhibition design take a look at this blog.


  1. So amazing. Maybe we should start campaigning for an international tour so it comes to the UK! Will have to start saving for that catalogue.

  2. Crickey, what an amazing show. Yes, it must have been overwhelming to have so many large textile pieces suspended above you like that. Thank you for sharing these images Hannah.

  3. wow.............. no more words!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am so excited about this. I have red and white quilts. Not like this, though.
    Wonderful post!



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