PBS will air a documentary, The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, about the amazing African-American quilters of Gee’s Bend, AL on February 3, 2005. The PBS website describes the program thus:
THE QUILTMAKERS OF GEE’S BEND tells the story of the critically acclaimed African-American quiltmakers from Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The New York Times hailed their work as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced.” The documentary explores the extraordinary lives, inspirations and history of these women, and also follows them on a poignant and sometimes comical bus journey to see their quilts exhibited at a major museum.
Consult your local PBS station to find out if it will be airing this remarkable film. If they’re not (as seems true of both PBS stations serving Seattle), tell them they should.
Don’t believe my mere words about the visual majesty of these works of art. See for yourself at the Gee’s Bend website. I’ve written two blog posts about the quilts of Gee’s Bend: Gee’s Bend African-American Quilters and Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective: New Quilts.
I love quilts. I’ve loved quilts so long I can’t remember when I first fell in love with them. But besides their visual beauty, they seem to capture the collective dreams and sorrow of all their makers in a way that is both material (in the materials themselves) and spiritual. My only regret is that I have never had the wherewithal to collect these remarkable artifacts.