The Rajah Quilt

The Rajah Quilt

Sunday, December 29, 2013

'Quilts 1700-1945', the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, August 2013.

The Rajah quilt is not displayed very often, it has only been in 3 or 4 exhibitions in Australia in the past 10 years. As one of the most significant textiles in Australian, and world, history, it was included as a 'guest quilt' in the Victoria and Albert Museum's 'Quilts 1700 - 1945' display in 2010. The V&A holds most of this collection of over 50 historic quilts, with some pieces borrowed from museums and private collections.

This exhibition was brought to Brisbane, Australia in 2013, with the Rajah Quilt again featuring, courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia. It was on display from 15th June to 22nd September, and I was lucky enough to be able to go up to Queensland for just a weekend, a few days before my birthday, and see the exhibition.

My cousin Hazel gave a presentation on Grace's story, at the V&A, during the 2010 exhibition, and contacted me about whether I would like her to get the book for me, from the exhibition, but the Rajah Quilt was not actually in it. I decided not to. Thankfully the book was reproduced in conjunction with the QAGOMA exhibition 2013, with a new section dedicated to the Rajah Quilt, written by Dr Robert Bell, senior Curator at the NGA.
Book produced for the Exhibition
 Naturally, although it's disappointing, no photography was allowed inside the exhibit. The book is a fantastic resource and keepsake with pictures of all the quilts, and a story about each one.

In the book and gift store specially set up in conjunction with the Quilt exhibition, I found a hard cover edition of Annette Gero's "The Fabric of Society" - a well known and hard-to-get book of Australian quilts.

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