More to the Story with Staley: the Art of Quilts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s the “Art Space” at the Chattanooga Airport, tucked away in the corner of the ticketing area.

There are usually paintings on display here, for sale. Not this time.

Would you believe quilts? Yup! Quilts on loan from the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, which is located at the Bluff View Art District.

Quilts from the collection of the late Anna Safely Houston. Old quilts.

“We decided to display her quilts. Because it’s not something the museum is known for. It’s a beautiful collection from the 1800’s,” Museum Operations Director Pam Reed said. “They were a labor of love back then. They’re a work of art in themselves. Almost like a painting.”

The museum collaborated with local artist and curator Carrie Pendergrass.

At first, when approached with the Pam Reed’s idea, Pendergrass wasn’t quite sure if this display would work. However, it didn’t take long for her to get on board with the idea!

“At first, I thought we might not have the space. But when she mentioned quilts, I thought that might be interesting,” Pendergrass said. “I didn’t know if it would work in our space. But she came up with a really cool plan.”

The Houston Museum is well known for its glass displays. These quilts were not being displayed at that facility. They were tucked away in storage.

But Reed says these old quilts from “Victorian Times” are more than just fabric. They are history.

“It gives you a chance to think about what was here before you were here. What people were like. As they were quilting together. It’s a nice way to bring people together. And it’s very positive,” Reed said.

Anna Safely Houston died back in 1951. But until early March, the public has a chance to look at some of her prized possessions from days gone by.

Categories: Featured, More To The Story With Staley