Center to Display Famed International Honor Quilt
The River Discovery Center is pleased to announce the Judy Chicago-inspired International Honor Quilt will be on exhibit for two weeks in April. The collection is a collaborative art project initiated by Judy Chicago, a renowned feminist art pioneer, who wanted to honor everyday women around the globe.
The exhibit at the River Discovery Center will include specially selected pieces from the large collection of individual triangle quilt panels produced by women and groups from around the world. The quilt panels, which utilize a wide variety of materials and techniques, have been made by different women or groups honoring and addressing individually selected women, women’s organizations or women’s issues to expand the number of women honored by Chicago’s famous exhibit, The Dinner Party.
The project exemplifies a significant shift in contemporary art that encourages participatory making as a means of social action. Inspired by the tradition of quilting bees, Judy Chicago, used the social nature of quilting as a means for women to engage in the social issues of women’s rights.
The International Honor Quilt, was initiated to “extend the spirit” around the world of her monumental feminist art installation, the Dinner Party, on its tour of venues throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. The Dinner Party is now permanently housed at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. A call for participation in the International Honor Quilt was published in 1980, triggering a community-driven response that eventually produced hundreds of triangle-shaped panels that were donated to Through the Flower, a 501 © 3 feminist art organization founded in 1978 by Judy Chicago. Prospective contributors were instructed to create a 24-inch equilateral triangle quilt that identified the name of the honoree as well as their respective city, state and country, and an explanation for the woman or organization they chose.
The International Honor Quilt (IHQ) project began with the second exhibition on The Dinner Party’s tour at the University of Houston at Clear Lake City Community College in Houston, Texas, March to May of 1980. The successive locations were scattered across North America, Europe, and Australia until 1996. After the conclusion of The Dinner Party tour, the IHQ was housed at Through the Flower. After returning from The Dinner Party tour, a few curators, recognizing the significance of the IHQ and its individual commemorative pieces, periodically borrowed selections of the panels to include in independently curated exhibitions in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California on topics related to feminist art, Judy Chicago, and quilts. However, since 1996, it has not been exhibited in its entirety as an autonomous project.
Until October 2013, the IHQ was kept in storage at Through the Flower. After the conclusion of negotiations, Through the Flower generously gifted the collection and its cataloging to the University of Louisville and its Hite Art Institute with the intention that it be utilized as an educational tool and preserved as an esteemed art object so that it can provide a unique resource for research relating to preserving women’s voices.
Judy Chicago is an artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. Her influence both within and beyond the art community is attested to by her inclusion in hundreds of publications throughout the world. Her art has been frequently exhibited in the United States as well as in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, a number of the books she has authored have been published in foreign editions, bringing her art and philosophy to readers worldwide. Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change and to women’s right to engage in the highest level of art production. As a result, she has become a symbol for people everywhere, known and respected as an artist, writer, teacher, feminist and humanist whose work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women’s right to freedom of expression.
The exhibit will be on display April 18-30 in the Founders Room of the River Discovery Center at 117 S. Water Street in Paducah, KY. Exhibit hours are Monday-Saturday 9:30am-5:00pm and on Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm. Special exhibit fee pricing is $5.00 per person. The center will offer a combined discounted $10.00 rate for touring the museum along with the International Honor Quilt exhibit. The room is handicapped accessible.
Proceeds from the exhibit will benefit the educational programs of the River Discovery Center, a museum which educates the public about the history, culture, environment and commerce of our rivers.
For more information, please call (270) 575-9958 or visit riverdiscoverycenter.org