By: Colleen Hall-Patton
Jean Ray Laury, a designer and author since the early 1960s, contributed to the creation and evolution of the current quilt revival which involves twenty million people in the U.S. and many more worldwide. Laury’s work and writings questioned the assumed relationship between gender and art and valorized everyday life. She offered alternatives to mass consumption and commercialization, and legitimized women’s creative choices through an art form considered both quintessentially female and American.
Using Laury’s books, articles, three online interviews with her, and personal correspondence, I contextualize her accomplishments and examine her impact using theories about gender and art, everyday life sociology, and cultural studies.