New Exhibition, Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts, Opens at the State Museum on Nov. 13

COLUMBIA, S.C., November 3, 2021 – The South Carolina State Museum is excited to announce the opening of its new exhibition, Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts, on Saturday, Nov. 13. This new display traces the history and art of South Carolina made quilts. Featuring pieces from the museum’s collection, the exhibition highlights both the objects and their makers for an in-depth look at the quilt making process and how it relates to cultural traditions throughout South Carolina history to the modern day.

“Quilts can be objects of beauty, important pieces of folk art, and examples of fine craftsmanship while also being functional items that help keep us warm,” says State Museum Curator of History JoAnn Zeise. “However, when we examine a quilt and ask questions about the maker, the materials, and the stylistic influences we can use those answers to learn about the past.”

 Bindings and Betweens takes a closer look at how quilts and their history are tied to people and places throughout South Carolina. An 1850s quilt made for a bride moving far away highlights personal connections and represents the networks of trade, power, and politics that accompany the binding of families through matrimony. Imported fabrics are also featured, as well as those treated with locally produced natural dyes revealing how some quilts can represent a bustling trade network stretching from England to Charleston and others help us uncover the connections between people and the land they lived on.

“As textiles are fragile, we are not able display these quilts very often and usually only for limited periods of time,” says Zeise. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to share these amazing pieces with our guests and members.”

Dating from the early 19th century to the modern day, Bindings and Betweens will feature 43 quilts with a wide variety of styles and designs on display, highlighting traditions that were brought across oceans and passed down through generations. Through exploring these pieces, the exhibition aims to reveal the things that bind us together and the spaces and connections between us.  

The museum will kick-off the exhibition with special activities on opening day, Sat., Nov. 13, including sewing demonstrations from members of Quilters of S.C. Guests can also enjoy a presentation on the history of the American sewing machine, fabric dyeing demonstrations, gallery tours, make-and-take crafts, and more. A full schedule of activities is available on the museum’s website at scmuseum.org.

Bindings and Betweens: South Carolina Quilts exhibition entrance and opening day activities are free with museum membership or general admission. General admission to the South Carolina State Museum is $8.95 for adults; $7.95 for Seniors; $6.95 for children; infants 2 and under are free. 

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About the South Carolina State Museum: As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista. The State Museum is housed in one of its greatest artifacts, an 1894 old textile mill full of character and charm. In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch an interactive 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These exciting opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology that guests can experience. For more information about the museum, visit scmuseum.org.


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