The Raquette River quilters: A case study of cultural biases and contemporary quiltmaking production from a feminist perspective
Chur, Carol L
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As argued in this thesis, a change in the art historical status of quilts from crafts to fine arts---a goal of an "art quilt" movement since the 1970s---is impeded by historical misconceptions, Modernism, and gender stereotypes that were deconstructed by feminist art historians Norma Broude, Mary Garrard, Patricia Mainardi, Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock in the 1970s and 1980s. Contemporarily, feminists Janet Wolff (social historian) and Marilyn Friedman (academic philosophy) further deconstruct gender stereotypes in relation to social organization and self-autonomy. Cultural biases about quiltmaking are refuted in this thesis through research into the production methods of eleven members of the Raquette River Quilters situated in the Adirondack Mountains of New York who are noteworthy for biennial quilt shows and over one thousand mostly hand-quilted items produced from 1981 to 2004. Key finding: individual artistic decisions were made independently of collective and relational elements of the small quilt group.