18 Mar 2017 - 25 Jun 2017


The history of military conflict and the soldier’s life is retold through the ‘war quilts’ of this very rare collection curated by leading quilt historian Dr Annette Gero. War-Time Quilts: Quilts from Military Fabrics features a dazzling array of unique and diverse quilts made from 1710 through to the end of the 20th century, covering a multitude of different wars, cultures and countries.

While quilting is often considered the domain of women, this exhibition casts a different spin on the production of quilts during war-time, and shows how the hands of men turned to quilting as a past-time in the midst of the extreme conditions of war.

Made by active soldiers and prisoners of war, the quilts are constructed using rugged and difficult textiles such as thick felt, heavy woollen serge or worsted twill; all scoured from disused uniforms, army blankets and other discarded military fabrics. The exhibition includes quilts dating from the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), the Crimean War (1853–56) and World War I and World War II.

Although the exhibition presents a solemn and poignant collection of the quilts made in conflicts over the past 200 years, the colours and patterns in the quilts are quite extraordinary and sure to be an inspiration for the exhibition visitor.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated, 228-page publication Wartime Quilts: Appliqués and Geometric Masterpieces from Military Fabrics, available from the Gallery shop.

Dates: Saturday, 18 March to Sunday, 25 June 2017
Times: 10am–5pm daily
Cost: Entry by gold coin donation
Bookings: Not required.
Age Group: All ages welcome

Image: Maker unknown (initials JSJ) Intarsia with Soldiers c.1760-1780, possibly Prussia | Wool, all hand sewn, intarsia. Photo Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios