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Vintage Quilt Exhibition

January 19, 2018 April 3, 2018

Quilts that are cherished heirlooms and others that are historic treasures from travels will hang in the Brigham City Museum during its Vintage Quilt Exhibition Jan. 20 through April 3, 2018. The pieces combine patchwork, applique and embroidery in endless combinations, and nearly all have been produced before 1940. Families throughout Utah have unrolled or unfolded about 50 quilts to share with the museum.

The museum is located at 24 North 300 West. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For further information, please phone (435) 226-1439 or visit www.brighamcitymuseum.org.

Detail of a quilt made by artist Florence Ware

 A few of the designs pictured in the quilts are little school houses, doves in windows, Brigham City’s peaches, spools, bears’ paws, yellow hands and 3-D dahlias. Some of the quilters had the dexterity and the patience to make postage stamp-size, yo-yo and strip quilts.

 Both rich and humble fabrics are honored in the exhibition, especially a quilt crafted by Florence E. Ware. Ware was a multifaceted Utah artist who worked as a painter, illustrator, costume designer, interior designer and muralist. She was a professor of art at the University of Utah for 25 years.  Minnie Burton created another stellar quilt in the exhibition. Burton of Parowan designed a little school house quilt from well-worn clothing. Burton’s granddaughter, Beverly Ford, who lives in Brigham City, discovered the quilt in the attic of Burton’s home after she died.

One of the pieces is valued because of the resilience of quilter Elitha Donner, who as a child survived the Donner Party tragedy in 1846-1847 and crafted as an adult with family members a quilt out of old suits and dresses. The Donner party consisted of a group of Americans who set out for California from Illinois in a wagon train in May 1846 and was delayed by mishaps and mistakes. They spent the winter snowbound in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There were many deaths, including Elitha’s father George Donner, leader of the expedition, and third wife Tamsen.

Because many vintage quilts never see the light of day since they are extremely fragile as well as sensitive to light, wear, abrasion, dirt, dust, heat and organisms, the exhibition is a rare occasion to view old fabrics and handwork that have charmed recipients throughout the years.

This exhibition has been funded, in part, by the Box Elder County Tourism Tax Advisory Board.