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Skirball Cultural Center

This is a past exhibition

This exhibition was on view at the Skirball
November 17, 2022–March 12, 2023

About the Exhibition

Discover the extraordinary stories behind three hundred years of American quilts. Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories features works by more than forty artists, including Harriet Powers, Bisa Butler, and Sanford Biggers. Come celebrate the artistry and vision of a diverse and largely under-recognized group of creators in an exhibition that brings to light stories that enrich, deepen, and complicate our understanding of the American experience.

Fabric of a Nation illuminates the unique capacity quilts have to tell stories and convey a sense of humanity. Whether produced as works of art or utilitarian objects, their tactile, intricate mode of creation and traditional use in the home impart deeply personal narratives of their makers and offer an intimate picture of American life. Originally organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Skirball’s presentation will feature additional works by Los Angeles artists Sabrina Gschwandtner, Ramsess, and Sula Bermúdez-Silverman, as well as a quilt from its own collection highlighting key moments in American Jewish history.


Hear from the artists and curators about select quilts with our mobile guide!


Curatorial Acknowledgments

Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories was first curated by Jennifer Swope and presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Danielle Killam curates its West Coast debut for the Skirball Cultural Center.

Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston logo

“Contemporary exhibitions of quilts [like Fabric of a Nation] have left the comfort of nostalgia behind for the cacophony of the multivalent.”—Art in America

More to Explore

Fabric of a Nation and Together for Good—Skirball Curator Talks

In these recorded talks, first, Skirball curator Dani Killam and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston curator Jennifer Swope discuss themes and quilt art found in Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories. Then, hear from artist Caron Tabb about her work in the companion exhibition Together for Good: Caron Tabb and the Quilting Corner.

Curator Dani Killam on KCET

Hear curator Danielle Killam talk through the themes of Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories and the ways in which the quilts in the exhibition seek to answer the question: "Who is American?"

Artist Sabrina Gschwandtner on KCET

Learn how Sabrina Gschwandtner uses 35mm film to create quilts that honor women in film and see her works on view in Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories.

Donor Support

The exhibition and its related educational programs at the Skirball Cultural Center are made possible by generous support from the following donors:

The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation
The Richard E. and Harriett F. Gold Charitable Fund
David and Sarah Harden
Jenni Kayne
The Keston Family
Alicia Miñana and Rob Lovelace

Additional support is provided by:

Coral Courts Foundation
Lois Neiter

Media sponsor: