Survey Purpose & Description
The Modern Quilt Survey came about through my work for The Henry Ford Museum (THF), part of Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. To fulfill my internship requirement for my Master's at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), in 2020 I worked on a distance research practicum for THF titled The Landscape of the Modern Quilt Movement, 1995-2020. The project culminated the Spring of 2021 in a presentation of the first academic study of the Modern Quilt Movement (MQM). I presented a paper, which included the history and anthropology of "the Moderns", a donation of photos from my collection of the Utah County Modern Quilt Group, some items collected at QuiltCon 2020, first-person interviews for their archives, and a list of books and quilts to consider collecting.
As I was peeling back the layers it became obvious that if I was going to write a paper on the people, patterns, and trends of the last twenty years, I needed to hear from Modern quiltmakers outside of my region. And the MQM survey was born. The full survey results were included in the presentation. This survey was officially endorsed by THF and UNL (including their Internal Review Board) and added to the academic rigor of my project. You can read more about my work at THF in this blog post on their site. Details were also shared in articles for Uncoverings and Curated Quilts Magazine listed on my Bio page.
What do I consider Modern? This survey was about the public's feelings, not mine. For now I'll just leave this quote by Bill Kerr right here: "Modern quilts for them 'are expressive of the time in which we live'" (May, 2014, p. 18).
May, R. (2014). Quilting With a Modern Slant. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.