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National Quilt Museum a trove of folk art rich in farm and rural life
 
By CINDY LADAGE
Illinois Correspondent

PADUCAH, Ky. — Located in Paducah, the National Quilt Museum is the world’s largest museum devoted to quilts and fiber. The museum has had visitors from all 50 states and more than 40 foreign countries.

Nature and agriculture are woven into some of the premier quilts on display. It is quite an experience to see nature come to life through the eyes of a quilt artist.

One that includes nature and the sport of hunting is “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” by Sharon Malec. The picture speaks 1,000 words of the hound and the hunt in material and thread.

“Goato and Friends” by Barbara Barber is a quilt that shares the artist’s story of a goat she came to love. “Forest Walk” by Pat Durbin is so intricate that it looks more like a photo than a quilt. The colors and depiction of a walk through a forest scene draw the viewer right into the center of the art.

Anyone who has ever farmed on a hill or seen the intricate techniques required to maneuver a curving landscape from the tractor seat will enjoy “Terraced Landscape” by Hollis Chatelain. “Fruitorama” by Frances Abell Brand offers a cornucopia of non-row-crop agriculture.

The museum includes three galleries of quilts to choose from. The primary gallery, with more than 7,000 square feet, features quilts from its collection of more than 320 works of art. The Museum’s additional galleries feature touring and thematic exhibits of unique and diverse works of art.

The website states the mission of the museum is accomplished “through quality professional exhibits of new and antique quilts and related archival materials; through workshops, conferences and publications; through appropriate related activities; and through the development and exhibit of the museum’s own collection and related archives.”

Besides the quilts themselves there are also amazing stained glass windows in the lobby and bronze statues depicting the Lewis and Clark expedition outside the museum. It is located near the old downtown area, where visitors can see murals along with the river that shares the city’s history. Downtown also offers other historic sites in Paducah.

The National Quilt Museum is located at 215 Jefferson, Paducah, KY 42001. Call 270-442-8856 for details. Be ready to spend a couple hours; it takes that long to take it all in.
11/21/2012