In the United States, patchwork has been reflective of the nation since its beginnings. The Log Cabin motif, inspired by the first pioneers’ log cabins, is one of the earliest examples of this folk art practice. The infinite variations it has undergone since the time of its creation continues to provide inspiration today. The Log Cabin design was so closely associated with New World traditions that its “Americanness” is no longer a question, to the point that it has become a veritable American icon. The Log Cabin block is of a stunning simplicity, built around a red center square, representing the cabin hearth, and surrounded by logs arranged in a clockwise fashion. By alternating light and dark colors, a large number of variations can be created, as well as multiple effects, as the evocative names of some quilts suggest: Barn Raising, Furrows, Streaks of Lightning or Pinwheels. These variations serve as a vibrant textile reflection of the beginnings of the United States, which, from coast to coast, was itself constructed like a patchwork quilt. The exhibition presents a selection of 19th and 20th century « Log Cabin » quilts from Charles-Edouard de Broin’s collection. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for lending his quilts to the Fondation des États-Unis once again. For those who were not able to see the previous exhibitions, you will find an overview in Transatlantica.
Charles-Edouard de Broin, collector
My interest in folk art began when I was a boy. I discovered the world of patchwork while working in oil exploration, first in Sydney and afterwards in Houston, Texas, the Mecca for patchwork fans, and my home for many years. My esthetic fondness for these quilts and my fascination with their geometry and graphic impact quickly turned into a passion for their historical and cultural relevance. This is now the main purpose of my interest in the practice. Of course, my tastes have changed over the 30 plus years that I’ve been collecting quilts. I’ve collected everything from the Log Cabins and their variations to more audacious and/or abstract quilts, as well as the vibrant Amish quilts. Today, I’m particularly interested in (and most certainly a bit crazy for Crazy quilts. See an interview with Charles-Edouard Broin here, at the FEU 2016 exhibition.
Géraldine Chouard, curator
Géraldine Chouard is a Professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine and a specialist in American visual culture, and patchwork in particular, her area of research. Her work focuses on the historical and cultural value of quilting. She has taken part in several exhibitions, including Quilt Art: the Art of Patchwork at the Mona Bismarck Center in 2013. She has filmed two documentaries with Anne Crémieux: Riché Richardson: Portrait of an Artist. From Montgomery to Paris (2009) and Gwendolyn Magee, Mississippi. Threads of History (2012). She is also a member of the editiorial board for L’Amérique des images, a collective work dedicated to the visual history and culture in the United States (Hazan/ Paris-Diderot, 2013). As a member of the editorial board for Transatlantica since 2001, she heads the Trans’Arts section, dedicated to American visual arts. Read her detailed biography here.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10am to 12:30 pm and 2:30pm to 6pm. Guided tours at 3pm on October 10th, 16th, 24th and 31st
Exceptional closures: October 16 at 4pm and October 17. Evenings and weekends by appointment only: firstname.lastname@example.org
The opening will take place on Wednesday, October 4 at 7pm as part of Art-Hop-Polis, art hopping at the Cité internationale. A detailed program containing all the participating residences will be available shortly on CitéScope. Join the Facebook event page to receive a reminder!