New York Quilt Project
Scope and Contents
Administrative files relating to the NYQP are included in the collection. They contain mostly correspondence with the consultants and Quilt Day coordinators, as well as some printed matter showing advertisements for various Quilt Days, and volunteer orientation training and slides.
Research material for the catalog New York Beauties is also included in the collection. This material contains both text-based research related to specific quilts, photographs, and negatives of the images that appear in the book, and general research providing contextual information on quilts and quilting history.
Also included is a series of audiocassettes including recordings of a conference with Shelly Zegart, Irma Shore, and Phyllis Tepper from November 1986; the volunteer orientation slide lecture from January 1989; and a collection of taped interviews from various Quilt Days.
- 1986 - 1995
- Tepper, Phyllis A. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Because of Tepper’s association with AFAM, and the museum’s long history of exhibiting American quilts, AFAM was a natural sponsor for the New York Quilt Project. A panel of consultants were hired, including Robert Bishop, director of the Museum of American Folk Art; Deborah Ann Blincoe, a New York State folklorist who helped in the initial training of volunteers; Harvey Green, then social historian with the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester; Jonathan Holstein, quilt historian and curator of the Whitney Quilt Show in 1971; Laurel Horton, folklorist, consultant to other state quilt projects, and director of the South Carolina Project; Cyril I. Nelson, senior editor at Dutton Studio Books and a quilt collector of long standing; Patsy Orlofsky, textile conservator; Elizabeth V. Warren, then curator at the Museum of American Folk Art; Judith Reiter Weissman, quilt historian with special emphasis on women’s history; and Shelly Zegart, quilt dealer and historian and the “mother” of state quilt projects.
A questionnaire, which makes up the bulk of the collection, was created with research help from Laurel Horton and Lee Kogan. The questionnaire was created with the intention of one day adding all of the results to a database.
Forty-five Quilt Days were held across the state in 1988 and 1989. Although not every New York County was represented, each region was, and the organizers advertised across the state with various quilt guilds and groups. Volunteers became documenters, quilt hangers, and photographers, and more than six thousand quilts were documented in churches, YMCAs, county fairgrounds, museums, historical societies, and more.
The NYQP resulted in an exhibition and book, both titled New York Beauties: Quilts from the Empire State (on view April 23, 1994–September 11, 1994).
6.25 cubic feet (standard document cases; half-size document cases)
464 audiocassette(s) (audiocassette cases 9.25 x 12.25 x 3.25")
57.75 cubic feet (file cabinets)
1 object(s) : (patchwork wall hanging measures 39 x 34.5")
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- A Guide to the New York Quilt Project
- Mimi Lester and Emily Christensen
- November 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository