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Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum to Present Companion Exhibits to Gee’s Bend Quilts

Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC, Offers Companion Quilt Exhibits
Carolina Arts, February 2017, Page 27

Created in the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, AL, a unique style of handmade quilts was discovered by the art world in the 1960s. These Gee’s Bend quilts have been exhibited at galleries and museums around the country, among them the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. The Museum currently displays the exhibition Gee’s Bend: From Quilts to Prints, from now until Apr. 23, 2017, an exploration into the art of making prints based on traditional Gee’s Bend quilt designs.

Gee’s Bend quilts also inspired a 2008 children’s book by Patricia McKissack, titled Stitchin’ and Pullin’ a Gee’s Bend Quilt, illustrated by New York-based artist Cozbi Cabrera. Nearly two dozen of these illustrations are featured in a companion exhibit to the Gee’s Bend quilts, titled Stitchin’ and Pullin’: Painted Illustrations by Cozbi Cabrera. Along with Cabrera’s paintings are several handmade dolls and quilts created by the artist, and a miniature replica of a Gee’s Bend dogtrot cabin by Georgetown, SC, artist Woody Gruber.

To enhance the intimacy of the exhibit, the Museum has designed a reading nook for children. Stitchin’ and Pullin’ will be on display through Apr. 16, 2017. Programming to spotlight both exhibitions is scheduled for spring. Information will be posted on the Art Museum’s website at (

McKissack’s book and Cabrera’s illustrations tell the story of the community of Gee’s Bend quilters through the eyes of a young child, as the women work together, sharing stories, songs and their common history as they “stitch and pull” thread through cloth.

In addition to her work as a commissioned artist and children’s book illustrator, Cabrera is currently an Artist in Residence at the Lincoln Center’s Manny Cantor Center (New York City), where she conducts a collaborative quilt making workshop to a diverse community of Anglo, Hispanic, Hassidic, African and Cantonese speakers.

A third exhibition, The Fabric of Our Collection, will open Feb. 11 and will feature works from the Art Museum’s permanent collection that reference fabric, either by medium, subject matter or style. These will include Burgess, the Legacy, a photocollage quilt by Carolynne Miller; Carl Blair’s oil-and-wax painting Appalachian Spring; Jonathan Green’s oil painting African Memories, which depicts a woman in straw hat moving between line-hung quilts, and other fabric-related works. Fabric will remain on display through Apr. 23, 2017.

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum is a wholly nonprofit institution located across from DoubleTree Resort by Hilton on South Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach. Components of Museum programs are funded in part by support from the City of Myrtle Beach, the Horry County Council and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 843/238-2510 or visit (

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Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum strives to be one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. With 11 galleries that change throughout the year, Myrtle Beach’s only art museum offers exhibitions featuring paintings, textiles, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, assemblage, collage and more. A visit to the Art Museum’s exhibitions can be enhanced by its lively programming, including artist receptions, tours, lectures, workshops and classes for both adults and children.