On Wednesday, 1 January 2020, Gillian Vogelsang wrote:
We are working hard on the TRC’s latest exhibition about American Quilts. It opens on the 5th February at the TRC, Hogewoerd 164, Leiden, so you have to wait just a little longer. But a few teasers....
One of the quilts (TRC 2019.2926) that will be on display dates to the nineteenth century. It is made of white cotton and decorated with a geometric design worked in cross stitches. We have added the design to the right.
The latest (and last?) addition to the exhibition is a so-called Crazy Quilt (TRC 2019.2925) that dates to about 1890. It is built up from a wide range of textiles, including velvets, hand painted birds on satin, as well as printed ribbons. Two of these ribbons refer to the GAR or Grand Army of the Republic, which was set up after the American Civil War to support veterans of the war and was particularly active among veterans living in the northern states.
Other ribbons refer to elections for Minnesota’s governor, notably Andrew Ryan McGill (1840-1905), who became the tenth Governor of the State, and to William Rush Merriam (1849-1931), who was his successor.
There is also a ribbon for a banker/insuranceman, called Albert Scheffer (1844-1905). He was a candidate in 1888 for the governorship, but with no success (he was described as being too nice to be a politician). Shortly afterwards Scheffer was accused of fraud, but it never came to trial. Prosecution was dropped for a technicality. I never thought I would become interested and write about late nineteeth century Minnesota politics and politicians! But such is the fascinating world of textiles.