The Quilts of Gee's Bend were created by a group of women who live in the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee's Bend, Alabama. Their brilliant, improvisational range of approaches to composition are more often associated with the inventiveness and power of the leading 20th-centuryAmerican abstract painters than traditional Euro-American quiltmaking.
The quilting tradition in Gee's Bend goes back to the 19th century, when the community was the site of a cotton plantation owned by a Joseph Gee. Perhaps influenced in part by patterned African textiles, female slaves pieced together strips of cloth to make bedcovers. Throughout the post-bellum years and into the 20th century, Gee's Bend women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in unheated shacks that lacked running water, telephones and electricity. Along the way they developed a distinctive style, noted for its lively improvisations and geometric simplicity.
More than 50 quiltmakers currently make up the Gee's Bend Collective., which is owned and operated by the women of Gee’s Bend. Every quilt sold by the Gee’s Bend Quilt Collective is unique and individually produced.
The quilts have been exhibited museums across the United States including the Fine Arts, Houston; the Milwaukee Art Center; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art; among others. The Whitney venue, in particular, brought a great deal of art-world attention to the work