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RE: Jan - American Folk Art - Underground Railroad "Myth"


From: Hillmer, Jan (HillmJan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 30 2004 - 13:34:09 PDT

Yes, quilts and quilt blocks do have names . I did see the "controversial" included in the lesson plan. Last year, I purchased the book Hidden in Plain View and had planned to read it, only to find out that it was an elaborate hoax in order to highlight some of the quiltmakers featured in the book. A teacher (classroom - not art) I know had loosely planned her whole year based on quilts and this book and the history that it supposedly conveyed. Guess she backed off on the history aspect. What a dissappointment to both her and me (not to mention lots of other folks). It might be an interesting way to teach symbolism, tho. Not using the book as fact, but using the ideas, as artists do, to communicate a message in more than one way.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Judy Decker []
        Sent: Wed 6/30/2004 9:25 AM
        To: ArtsEdNet Talk
        Subject: Jan - American Folk Art - Underground Railroad "Myth"

        Greetings Jan,
        I did add to Kelli's plan "controversy" - and will update her plan after I
        talk with her more about it....but you are right. Quilts as signs in the
        Underground Railroad is least that is what current research
        shows. I try not to change lesson plans when I share them first...I do go
        back in and add "Judy-isms" after they are shared "as is".
        I told Kelli someone would bring this up so she would be prepared.
        The names of the quilts are real though... I will double check to be
        certain - but they did look right to me. The traditional patterns DO have
        names. I just have not had time to go back and find all of my resources on
        this topic. Yahoo wiped out all of my links when they closed my jdeckeriad
        Kelli's lesson:
> Print - Quilt Design Lesson:
        Judy Decker
        On 6/30/2004 9:11:32 AM, ArtsEdNet Talk (
> Judy and Kelli and all,
> I remember reading recently that the Underground Railroad quilt connection
> was a scam.
> Did we discuss that on this listserv? If not, perhaps I'll seek that info
> Jan
> Kelli Wilkie sent me her American Folk Art Reduction
> She also included scanned in handouts - that re-did
> for the site as the file was too big.
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