The Arts of Healing: The Work of Quilts in Grief

Lisa Collins

Gees Bend Quilt

This visual presentation explores possible parallels between the process of grieving and the practice of quilt-making by focusing on a 1942 quilt from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, created by Missouri Pettway (1902-1981). Featured in the popular traveling exhibition “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend,” this 7 1/2 foot by 5 3/4 foot stained “work-clothes” quilt offers lessons not only about the work of farming, but also about the work of grieving. Professor Lisa Collins returns to our lunchtime lecture series to present her new work on quilts and the personal stories that they are capable of telling.

Lisa Gail Collins teaches courses for Africana Studies and Women’s Studies at Barnard College. Professor Collins is author of The Art of History: African American Women Artists Engage the Past and Art by African-American Artists: Selections from the 20th Century.