Stitching Love and Loss: A Gee's Bend Quilt (Hardcover)

Stitching Love and Loss: A Gee's Bend Quilt By Lisa Gail Collins Cover Image

Stitching Love and Loss: A Gee's Bend Quilt (Hardcover)


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A meditation on suffering, resilience, creativity, and grace

In 1942 Missouri Pettway, newly suffering the loss of her husband, pieced together a quilt out of his old, worn work clothes. Nearly six decades later her daughter Arlonzia Pettway, approaching eighty at the time and a seasoned quiltmaker herself, readily recalled the cover made by her grieving mother within the small African American farming community of Gee's Bend, Alabama.

At once a story of grief, a quilt, and a community, Stitching Love and Loss connects Missouri Pettway's cotton covering to the history of a place, its residents, and the work of mourning. Interpreting varied sources of history and memory, Lisa Gail Collins engages crucial and enduring questions, simultaneously singular and shared: What are the languages, practices, and processes of mourning? How is loss expressed and remembered? What are the roles for creativity in grief? And how might a closely crafted material object, in its conception, construction, use, and memory, serve the work of grieving a loved one? Placing this singular quilt within its historical and cultural context, Collins illuminates the perseverance and creativity of the African American women quilters in this rural Black Belt community.

Lisa Gail Collins is Professor of Art and Director of American Studies on the Sarah Gibson Blanding Chair at Vassar College. Her books include The Art of History: African American Women Artists Engage the Past and New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement (coedited with Margo Natalie Crawford).
Product Details ISBN: 9780295751603
ISBN-10: 0295751606
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 200
Language: English