UofL professor seeking stories of African American quilts, makers


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Quilts often reflect family history as well as artistry. Art historian Pearlie Johnson wants to help African American quilters share their stories as part of her research.

    Johnson, also an assistant professor of Pan-African studies at the University of Louisville, is calling for African Americans to bring their family quilts to a free, public session Feb. 22 at the Western Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, 604 S. Tenth St.

    The event, “A Day to Document African American Women’s History,” will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their quilts, stories and related photographs, as well as photo identification.

    Johnson is researching both traditionally made quilts and more contemporary art quilts by African American artists. Her study will include oral history interviews with quilters she selects, and participants will sign consent forms to have their quilts documented.

    She plans to conduct sessions with other libraries, church groups and arts organizations.

    Her upcoming talks around the state on “Quilt Art: Examining Narrative in Kentucky Quilts” include one at the McCracken County Public Library during the annual American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah in April.

    For more information, contact Johnson at 502-852-0145, 502-852-0446 or pearlie.johnson@louisville.edu

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.