Hagley Author Talk Explores Amish Quilts from Craft to Collectable

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In her talk, "The Amish Quilt Craze: Art, Business, and Authenticity," Janneken Smucker will draw on her recent book, Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013) to explore the phenomenon of Amish quilts and the people who have loved them during the last half-century.

c. 1930. Image (c) Faith and Stephen Brown Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown.

How did Amish quilts evolve from practical bed linens into contemporary art? Hagley Museum and Library welcomes Dr. Janneken Smucker for her Author Talk, “The Amish Quilt Craze: Art, Business, and Authenticity,” on Thursday, September 18. The talk begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Reservations are requested; call (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or email clockman(at)hagley(dot)org. The lecture will be held in the Soda House auditorium. Use Hagley’s Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Smucker, a fifth-generation quiltmaker and professor of history, will draw on her recent book, Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). In her talk, she will examine the viewpoints of Amish families, antiques dealers, art collectors, corporations, fashion designers, tourists to Amish country, and Hmong needle workers. Smucker will draw on her own observations as well as oral histories, newspaper accounts, ephemera, and other archival sources as she explores the intersections of art, craft, fashion, globalization, religion, ethnicity, and consumer culture. Her talk will be highly visual, showcasing images of Amish quilts within a variety of contexts.

About Jenneken Smucker

Janneken Smucker received her doctorate from the University of Delaware, and was mentored by Hagley Director of the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society Dr. Roger Horowitz. She is currently Assistant Professor of History at West Chester University where she specializes in digital history, public history, and American material culture. She has published widely on the subject of Amish quilts, most recently authoring Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). She serves as a board member for the national non-profit, Quilt Alliance, since 2005. She is also a 5th generation Mennonite quilt maker.

About Hagley Museum and Library

At Hagley, we invite people of all ages to investigate and experience the unfolding history of American business, technology, and innovation, and its impact on the world, from our home at the historic DuPont powder yards on the banks of the Brandywine.

For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit http://www.hagley.org.

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Meg Marcozzi, marketing manager
Hagley Museum and Library
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