November 4, 2017 to February 19, 2018
Experience a new look at the life of Abraham Lincoln through the textiles of his time. Lincoln in Quilts: Log Cabins, Flags and Roses is a must-see for any quilt lover or Lincoln enthusiast and connects to four key times in Lincoln’s life; his early years, his adult political life and White House years, the Civil War, and the mourning period following his assassination in 1865.
One of the jewels of this exhibition is a quilt attributed to Elizabeth Keckley, who served as Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker. The spectacular silk quilt is made from scraps of the silk dresses she created for her customers, including Lincoln’s wife. Another highlight is a quilt that has not been seen on public display for at least 25 years. The piece, by Margaret Frentz of New Albany, incorporates campaign ribbons from every presidential and vice presidential candidate in the 1860 election.
Quilts have long been a way of capturing memories and memorializing the dead, and Lincoln’s passing was no different. The exhibition includes the banner that hung in Ford’s Theater at the time of his assassination, along with the Memorial Log Cabin quilt which features wool believed to be from the mourning crape draped around the columns at the Indiana Capital.
Lincoln in Quilts: Log Cabins, Flags and Roses is the first exhibition to bring together several nationally and internationally known quilts with connections to Lincoln. Many of the items for the exhibition come from the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection at the Indiana State Museum.