Curator’s Statement

Over the past 250 years of quilt history in the United States, the color orange has risen and
fallen in popularity several times. Even at its peak, orange has never been a predominant color.
Today, while it is easy to find orange used in quilts, many people consider it either unpleasant or
off-putting. Not me! The first antique quilt I ever purchased was the Bow Tie included in this
exhibit, so unloved in the dealer’s booth that the price was low enough even a young guitar
player/quilter could afford it. Citrus, the rising sun, pumpkins, cheddar cheese—some of my
favorite things in life are orange. According to sources I find on the internet, orange can
represent almost anything, from serenity and peace to fire and war. For me, orange means
happiness and joy. The quilts here represent but a small number of the innumerable ways
quilters have stitched orange into their quilts.

Joe Cunningham
San Francisco

A Celebration of Orange

Each winter, the days grow shorter, darkness envelopes more hours of the day, and color drains away from our natural landscape. Just as the ancients celebrated the winter solstice with rituals designed to encourage the sun’s return, this exhibit of 29 quilts honors the sun with a study of the color orange in both historic and contemporary quilts.

Orange was originally called yellow-red or “geoluhread” in Old English.

This exhibit runs from November 16, 2021 to January 23, 2022. Come bask in the glow of orange during the dreary winter months.