Gee's Bend Quilts BUYER'S GUIDE
There are lots of Gees Bend Quilts for Sale.
The world of Gee’s Bend quilts is a treasure trove of vibrant colors, bold geometric patterns, and rich cultural history. These unique creations have not only captured the hearts of art and design enthusiasts but also stood the test of time as valuable investment pieces. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the fascinating story of Gee’s Bend quilts, where to find Gee’s Bend quilts for sale, and how to care for these masterpieces, preserving their beauty for generations to come.
Explore the legacy of Gee’s Bend Quilters and discover authentic quilts from online marketplaces, art galleries or directly from artists.
Recognize unique style & care for your Gee’s Bend quilt to preserve this art form for future generations.
Understand the influence on modern art & design, as well as its potential value as an investment piece when displayed properly.
The Legacy of Gee's Bend Quilters
Nestled in the rural community of Boykin, Alabama, Gee’s Bend is home to a group of African American women who have been making quilts since the 19th century. Their captivating creations often take center stage during Black History Month celebrations. These creative women have adeptly used a range of materials including old overalls, aprons, and bleached cornmeal sacks to craft their quilts. The quilts of Gee’s Bend have garnered significant influence, with their unique designs even inspiring baby items like blankets and clothing.
The artistic prowess of Gee’s Bend quilters has not gone unnoticed. Their works have found a place in the permanent collections of renowned museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Over the years, the women of Gee’s Bend have created hundreds of quilts, each telling its own unique story.
Where to Buy Authentic Gee's Bend Quilts
Owning an authentic Gee’s Bend quilt, a piece of history, can be quite rewarding. You can find these quilts in various places, including online marketplaces like Etsy, art galleries, or directly from the artists themselves.
Etsy is a popular online marketplace for purchasing Gee’s Bend quilts. Nine different Etsy stores offer these works of art, giving you an array of options to choose from. Organizations like Nest and Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership (SGD) have collaborated to help Gee’s Bend quilters, like Caster Pettway, sell their works online through their Etsy shop.
Verifying the authenticity of a Gee’s Bend quilt when purchasing online is important. Here are some steps to follow:
Check the seller’s reputation.
Ask for documentation.
Compare the quilt’s design and craftsmanship to authentic pieces.
Make sure you buy from reliable online marketplaces or galleries.
Several art galleries renowned for exhibiting Gee’s Bend quilts include:
To request a viewing of a Gee’s Bend quilt in an art gallery, contact the gallery directly, and inquire about their exhibition schedule and availability of Gee’s Bend quilts.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers the following options for Gee’s Bend Quilts:
Collections of Gee’s Bend Quilts prints
Custom framing services
Exhibitions featuring Gee’s Bend Quilts
Blog posts featuring Gee’s Bend Quilts
Directly from Artists
Some notable Gee’s Bend artists in the Gee’s Bend quilting community include:
- Nellie Mae Abrams
- Willie ‘Ma Willie’ Abrams
- Mary Lee Bendolph
- Ella Bendolph
- Louisiana P. Bendolph
- Annie Bendolph
- Arlonzia Pettway
- Jessie T. Pettway
- Loretta Pettway
- Loretta Pettway Bennett
- Tinnie Pettway
- Annie Mae Young
The Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective is a community of quilters working together to preserve their quilting traditions. Purchasing through the Collective directly benefits the artists by offering financial support and appreciation for their work.
Price Ranges and Factors Affecting Value
The value of Gee’s Bend quilts can vary greatly, influenced by factors such as age, condition, and scarcity. Price ranges for these quilts can range from as low as $27 to as high as $5,500 per piece.
The artist’s reputation, the design, and the condition of the quilt are other factors that can influence the value of a Gee’s Bend quilt. For instance, a quilt by a renowned Gee’s Bend artist in excellent condition may fetch a higher price than a lesser-known artist’s work in poor condition.
Recognizing the Unique Style of Gee's Bend Quilts
Gee’s Bend quilts are characterized by their vibrant colors, geometric patterns, and improvisational designs. The quilts often feature variations of traditional motifs such as ‘Housetops’ (squares within squares), stars, triangles, squares, diamonds, and hexagons, with traditional ‘Log Cabin’ patterns often incorporated into the compositions. The bright patterns, inventive color combinations, and lively irregularities further add to their unique style.
The color palette of Gee’s Bend quilts reflects the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the quilters. A wide range of colors is employed, often combining vibrant hues and contrasting shades to produce visually arresting designs. This distinct color palette adds to the quilts’ appeal and sets them apart from other quilt styles.
Caring for Your Gee's Bend Quilt
Maintaining your Gee’s Bend quilt properly is important for preserving its condition and longevity. Here are some tips for proper quilt maintenance:
Secure any open seams and reinforce any holes or deteriorated fabrics.
Use an appropriate mounting sleeve for display or storage.
Store the quilt in a suitable storage box to protect it from dust and light.
Avoid folding the quilt to prevent creases; consider rolling it instead.
Keep the quilt in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area to fend off moisture damage.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Gee’s Bend quilt remains in excellent condition for years to come.
For cleaning, it is recommended to:
Air out your Gee’s Bend quilt on a clothesline in direct sunlight for at least one hour.
Clean your quilt as needed, depending on the level of dirt or stains, and spot clean any stains.
Avoid washing the entire quilt unless necessary.
If machine washing is required, use a mild detergent like Woolite on a gentle cycle.
Refrain from using fabric softener.
Supporting the Gee's Bend Quilting Community
There are several ways to support the Gee’s Bend quilting community, including:
Buying their work
Raising awareness about their skills
Contributing to non-profit organizations like Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership, Inc.
Attending workshops conducted by Gee’s Bend quiltmakers
Visiting events like the Gee’s Bend Airing of the Quilts Festival
By doing these things, you can further support the economic growth of this community.
Purchasing Gee’s Bend quilts directly from the artists on platforms like Etsy offers several benefits:
You can own a piece of history
You support the artists and their families
Your support helps preserve the unique art of Gee’s Bend quilting for future generations.
The Influence of Gee's Bend Quilts on Modern Art and Design
The unique style of Gee’s Bend quilts has profoundly influenced modern art and design, inspiring global artists and designers. The relationship between Joan Mitchell and the Quilters of Gee’s Bend serves as a testament to their influence, as they served as an impetus for pattern and hue.
The origin of the improvisational and abstract designs of Gee’s Bend quilts is traced back to the early 1800s when quilting tradition started in the community. Their unique style is a reflection of the ingenuity and creativity of the quilters, which has led to their recognition and inclusion in museums around the world.
Gee's Bend Quilts as Investment Pieces
Due to their uniqueness, high demand among collectors, and limited supply, Gee’s Bend quilts are seen as reliable investments. Over the years, the financial appreciation of Gee’s Bend quilts has been considerable, with their widespread popularity beyond Gee’s Bend making them highly sought-after pieces of art. According to Etsy, the 20 Gee’s Bend quilters selling there have earned nearly half a million dollars among them since the launch last year.
The rarity of Gee’s Bend quilts further enhances their investment potential. These quilts originated from scarcity and resourcefulness, as they were created during times of cloth shortage and using salvaged fabric scraps. This history of scarcity adds to the cultural and historical significance of the quilts, making them highly sought after by collectors and investors.
Tips for Displaying Your Gee's Bend Quilt
Exhibiting a Gee’s Bend quilt in your home can showcase its beauty and historical significance. Some creative ways to display your quilt include:
Quilts hanging on the wall as a piece of art
Framing it to create a unique and decorative display
Using it as a centerpiece on a bed or couch
Draping it over a ladder or quilt rack for a rustic look
Incorporating it into a gallery wall with other artwork
To protect your Gee’s Bend quilt from dust and sunlight during display, use a lining that provides support when hanging and protects it from dust. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading and damage from UV rays. When not displaying the quilt, store it carefully by folding it to avoid creasing and wrap it in acid-free tissue paper or a cotton sheet.
To remove dust, use a vacuum cleaner hose and a knee-high stocking or soft sheer netting gently, ensuring it is not rope tied to avoid any damage.
Were the quilts of Gee's Bend created in Alabama?
The quilts of Gee’s Bend were created by a group of women and their ancestors from the isolated hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama along the Alabama River. These African American quilts are a testament to the creativity of the Gee’s Bend community.
When were Gee's Bend quilts made?
Gee’s Bend quilts have been made since the early 1800s when the community was a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gee. The enslaved women began piecing strips of cloth together to create the quilts, likely influenced by African patterned textiles.
What materials are used in making Gee's Bend quilts?
Gee’s Bend quilts are crafted from materials such as old overalls, aprons, and bleached cornmeal sacks, creating a unique aesthetic.
How can I ensure that a Gee's Bend quilt purchased online is authentic?
Ensure a Gee’s Bend quilt is authentic by researching the seller’s reputation, requesting documentation of provenance, and comparing the design and craftsmanship to known authentic pieces.
How should I store my Gee's Bend quilt?
Store your Gee’s Bend quilt in a storage box, avoiding folding it to prevent creases. Keep it in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area for optimal preservation.
Tangular A. Irby
Tangular A. Irby is a speaker, author, and descendant of Gee’s Bend quilters. She cherishes memories of her grandmothers and time she spent visiting them in Alabama. She holds a BS in Business Administration, a Masters in the Art of Teaching and a 6th Year in Educational Leadership. She writes children’s books and journals to encourage others to preserve their legacy.
Intergenerational relationships are the foundation of strong and supportive families, providing a backbone for both younger and older generations. But what exactly makes these connections so powerful, and how can
Gee’s Bend Quilts BUYER’S GUIDE There are lots of Gees Bend Quilts for Sale. The world of Gee’s Bend quilts is a treasure trove of vibrant colors, bold geometric patterns,