Bertha Meckstroth: Sculpture in Cloth

This collection of fourteen quilts and wall hangings by Bertha Amelia Meckstroth (1870-1960) is unique in design and origin. Miss Meckstroth combined backgrounds in sculpture and needlework to emerge as one of America's most innovative quilt artists. She completed her first quilt in 1922, then produced over 160 more over the next thirty-five years. She bypassed the more traditional patterns for imaginative personal statements of her own.

Meckstroth quilts are known for their unusual motifs, reverse appliqué lettering and frequent use of Christian themes. Many have verses or homilies written by a wide variety of poets from Milton to Addison, most being religious in tone. She was obsessed with lettering and was capable of beautiful work, much of it experimental. Trapunto, a kind of padded quilting and high relief, as well as intaglio, a method of engraving, give a sculptured dimension in depth feeling to her work.

Quilts range in size from 30" X 40" to 6ft. X 10ft. Accompanying the exhibitions is text with biographical information about the artist.