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Stories Unfolded: 40 Mississippi Quilts

“The stories connected with Mississippi quilters, and their quilts tell of joy, tragedy, resilience, and hope, and they give us insight into our state’s history, culture, and people.” – Mary Lohrenz, An excerpt from her foreword written for the Stories Unfolded exhibition catalog.

Quiltfolk, Issue 26: Mississippi, we spoke with Nan Prince, director of collections at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History, about the 200+ quilt collection housed at the Two Mississippi Museums: The Museum of Mississippi History and The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. 

For the grand opening, the museum wanted to choose artifacts that would tell the state’s story in a dramatic way. They chose to showcase quilts. The resulting exhibit, titled Stories Unfolded, included 40 quilts made between the 1830s and 2014, selected by Curator Mary Lohrenz. In Issue 26, we dive deeper into the collection and explain why quilts were chosen as the museum’s first exhibit. 

Exhibition at the Museum of Mississippi History. Photo by Azuree Holloway.
Quilt display at the Museum of Mississippi History. (Top, L-R): Cathedral Window (early 1980s) by Iris Oneida Baxter Byrd, Walkabout (2010) by Diane Williams, and Hexagonal Star (c. 1972) by mother and daughter Choctaw quilters, Dorothy and Ivora Thomas. (Bottom, L-R): Princess Feather (mid-to-late 19th century) from the John Ford home in Marion County, Monkey Wrenches (1930s) by Maudie Brewer, and Snake Trail (1950s) by an unknown maker. From the collection of the Museum Division, Mississippi Department of Archives & History. Photo by Azuree Holloway.

But, today, we wanted to share with you another resource from the Mississippi Department of Archives & History website. Click below to view all 40 quilts featured in the exhibit—and learn about these amazing Mississippi artifacts for yourself. 

Click to view all 40 quilts featured in Stories Unfolded.

And, of course, check out Quiltfolk, Issue 26: Mississippi to “join us” inside the textile collection storage space, where we discovered some of Mississippi’s most powerful, beautiful, and provocative quilts, both on the walls and in the vaults.

Click to visit the Issue 26: Mississippi purchase page.

About the Author

Breanna Briggs joined the Quiltfolk team in 2016 and has worn many hats over the years. She is now the Editor in Chief of Quiltfolk magazine.

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