|Pages/Publication Date:||270 / 2013|
A cherished icon of American craftsmanship and nostalgia for our agrarian traditions, Amish quilts have also become big business, with city galleries selling them for many times their original price to eager customers. In her gorgeously illustrated book, historian Janneken Smucker—herself a fifth-generation Mennonite quiltmaker, and the co-author of Amish Abstractions and Amish Crib Quilts from the Midwest—explores how these objects evolved from practical bed linens into contemporary art. Smucker discusses what makes an Amish quilt Amish, examines how the value changes as a quilt travels from Amish hands to the marketplace to consumers, and reflects on the intersections of consumerism and connoisseurship, religion and commerce, nostalgia and aesthetics.
"Just as people who buy The New Yorker for its cartoons feel they've gotten their money's worth without reading beyond the punch lines, readers may take this up for the pictures alone: they are sumptuous.... [The author] writes appealingly and clearly, always defining quilt jargon and explaining cultural mores as she tells of the seemingly humble Amish quilts and the people who have loved them."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Amish Quilts presents a story that lives up to its subtitle's promise, explaining how these fabric creations have become American icons. Without sentimentality, [the author] unfolds the events that have been too long packed away, revealing the actions and motives of many of the people who played significant roles in the creation of the quilt market and of making new meanings for these objects."—Mennonite Quarterly Review