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A Century of Quilts

A detailed picture of a historic quilt
A detailed picture of a historic quilt

Overview

Presenting a rare opportunity to see a historically and artistically significant group of works, A Century of Quilts showcases an often-overlooked art form made almost exclusively by women. Included in the exhibition is the National Gallery’s most requested work of art: The Rajah quilt 1841.

The Rajah quilt story is one of hope and persistence and has been a central subject of study into colonial life since its rediscovery in 1987. On its border is a stitched inscription which gives insight into the circumstances of the makers:

'To the ladies of the convict ship committee, this quilt worked by the convicts of the ship Rajah during their voyage to van Dieman’s Land is presented as a testimony of the gratitude with which they remember their exertions for their welfare while in England and during their passage and also as a proof that they have not neglected the ladies kind admonitions of being industrious.'

A Century of Quilts features exceptional examples of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century quilts made using techniques including crazy quilting, hexagonal, log cabin and tumbling block piecing, embroidery and appliqué. The exhibition also includes key examples of possum skin cloak designs by leading First Nations artists whose work has revitalised this historically important cultural and artistic tradition.

Dates

16 Mar – 25 Aug 2024
March 2024
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April 2024
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May 2024
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June 2024
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July 2024
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August 2024
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Map of the venue locationMap of the venue location
National Gallery of AustraliaParkes Place East, Parkes, Australian Capital Territory, AustraliaGet Directions
  • Cafe
  • Lockers
  • Non Smoking
  • Parents Room
  • Public Toilet
  • Shop / Gift Shop
  • Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids)
  • Caters for people who use a wheelchair.