By: Marilyn Goldman
The Wilkinson Sisters, Iona and Rosalie, were successful business women dedicated to art and excellence. Supported and encouraged by the wealthy, cultured Jewish citizens of the community, the Ligonier, Indiana, sisters endeavored to produce only the finest, most original, whole-cloth quilts to sell to an elite clientele world-wide. They thought of themselves as artists, preferring unique quilting designs on the finest solid-colored fabrics. Their quilts date from 1908 through the 1940s and dovetail the changes in home decoration of these eras.
The use of Wilkinson Art Quilt catalogs, Rosalie Wilkinson Dickinson’s historical paper, newspapers, personal interviews with contemporaries and descendants, and the quilts themselves, reveals the story of the energetic, imaginative, mid-western sisters whose beautiful, artistic, original, whole-cloth quilts and aggressive marketing techniques were innovations in quilt history.