Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women’s History Month -- 19TH Century Women Folk Artists….what inspired Signed, Abiah Rose

Years ago I saw a wonderful PBS documentary by Mirra Bank called Anonymous Was A Woman.
Largely told through old diaries and letters, the film was about mostly unknown, unsung women artists in 18th and 19th century America.  In the accompanying book one woman spoke of the 25 years of hopes, fears, joys and sorrows, loves and hates she put into the making of a quilt.  Another expressed the belief that eventually it would not be strange for women to step off the beaten path, to be preachers, or sculptors.  Everyone coming later would find their path easier.  She’d worked all her life but most of her work was the sort that “perishes with the usin’.”  She wanted to be remembered and appreciated, and thought her quilts would achieve this.

I found these women’s paintings, needlework, fiber arts and drawings remarkably charming.  I was so fascinated and moved by the glimpses into the lives of the women artists in the film and book that I wanted to tell something of their story to children.  Eventually Signed, Abiah Rose would be the result…..

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