In Southwest China, textile artists associated with a variety of ethnic nationalities piece and appliqué fabric together to form artistic and functional work, including those intended as bed coverings. This presentation will draw on documentation on historical and contemporary work that was included in a 2016 exhibition and accompanying publication Quilts of Southwest China. The project was funded by a grant from the Luce Foundation, conducted under the auspices of the China Folklore Society and the American Folklore Society, spearheaded by the Yunnan Nationalities Museum and Michigan State University Museum, and included the Anthropology Museum of Guangxi, Guizhou Nationality Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, and the International Quilt Museum. Each of these institutions now has examples of bedcovers from Southwest China and a sampling can be seen in the Quilt Index (www.quiltindex.org).
About the presenters: Marsha MacDowell, Ph.D. and Lijun Zhang, Ph.D. were co-curators of the exhibition "Quilts of Southwest China" and co-authored the related publication. MacDowell is Professor and Curator of Folk Arts and Quilt Studies, Michigan State University Museum and Director of The Quilt Index. She has authored numerous publications on quilt history. Zhang is Assistant Professor of Folklore at George Mason University. Her research focuses on material culture, heritage, and tourism in southwest and southeast China.