THE GRID: AMISH QUILTS, ESPRIT CLOTHING, AND POSTMODERN DESIGN – On Exhibit during the AQS Quilt Show at the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum, 37 N. Market Street, in downtown Lancaster
Contact: Wendy Nagle, Executive Director
THE GRID: AMISH QUILTS, ESPRIT CLOTHING, AND POSTMODERN DESIGN
LANCASTER, PA – THE GRID exhibition, opening First Friday evening,
March 4, 2011, is a joint project between Franklin & Marshall College’s
Art and Art History Department and the Lancaster Quilt & Textile Museum.
Featuring the “Esprit Collection” of Amish Quilts as well as artifacts from 1980’s
fashion and culture, this exhibit demonstrates the influence of traditional Amish
designs on postmodern art and fashion.
Used as design inspiration in Esprit headquarters during the creation of their iconic
1980s fashions, the ‘Esprit Collection’ of Amish quilts is shown here in the company
of Esprit objects for the first time. Paired with Esprit sweaters, advertisements, and
other objects of postmodern design, this exhibition celebrates the traditional Amish
culture in a magnificent display of color, style, and aesthetic beauty. Titled THE GRID,
the exhibition examines the common reliance on the grid as a design matrix by both
Amish quilters and modernist designers, and compares these with postmodern
experiments in ‘breaking’ or ‘exploding’ the grid.
This first-time collaboration between Franklin & Marshall College and The Heritage
Center of Lancaster County, seeks to attract viewers interested in local tradition,
fashion, and brilliant design. Dr. Amelia Rauser, Associate Professor of Art History
at F&M led a fall seminar of six students who studied these quilts. Dr. Rauser states,
“THE GRID exhibition presents a wonderful opportunity to travel back in time to the
1980’s and see how our local culture revolutionized the American ideas of art and
fashion.” Wendy Nagle, Executive Director of the Heritage Center of Lancaster
County, which owns and operates the museum, shares the story behind the
development of the exhibition. “The idea of looking at these THE GRID: AMISH QUILTS, ESPRIT CLOTHING, AND POSTMODERN DESIGN quilts through
the lens of 1980’s Esprit fashion was brought to us by Gloria Mast, a local
adjunct professor of art history and curatorial consultant to our museum. This
past summer during a museum focus group at F&M, we shared the concept with
Dr. Rauser, who immediately saw the connection between the quilts, fashion and
art. We were excited by the possibilities, and delighted to be able to make these
magnificent historic objects accessible for the students’ study and observation.
It is our hope that this will be the first of many future collaborations with our
The museum will open for the season Tuesday March 16, just in time for the
American Quilter’s Society’s Lancaster event week. Hours during the quilt
show are: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Daily admission is $6 per person, which includes admission to the
textile and Christmas exhibit galleries, and the magnificent Grand Banking Hall.
The museum gratefully acknowledges our 2011 exhibit sponsor: