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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Home Sewn: Quilts from the Lower Mississippi Valley

A member of Daughters of Dorcas and Sons, a quilting guild in Washington, DC, shows her work in progress at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.
December 9, 2013 – February 1, 2015
Anacostia Community Museum1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, DC
Community Gallery

Through the lens of four fancy quilts, explore layers of family history, artistic traditions, and entrepreneurship that enrich the fabric of an African American community in rural Mississippi.

Sisters Annie Dennis (1904-1997) and Emma Russell (1909-2004) grew up as fifth-generation quilters in Woodville, Mississippi. Russell shared her knowledge of quiltmaking and keen business sense with her friend and neighbor, Effie Bates Cooper. Though each woman created her quilts individually, Russell and Cooper became business partners.

Made between 1986 and 1990, these quilts represent classic American patterns and techniques. Fancy quilts are distinguished by recurring symmetrical motifs, decorative patterns, vibrant fabrics, and uniform stitches. They are often given as gifts, entered into quilt competitions, or unfolded and admired on special occasions.

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