By: Nancy Bavor
The emergence of the American studio art quilt movement in the 1960s is the result of a complex intersection of art, craft, universities, and the traditional American quilt. Interviews with nine northern California artists who made art quilts between 1966 and 1986 reveal additional significant personal motivations that inspired them to focus their creative efforts on quilts. This unique combination of external cultural influences and internal individual characteristics resulted in the birth of new art and quilt movements. Based on artist interviews conducted by the author in late 2009, this paper focuses on the parallels and differences in the artists’ personal lives that contributes to their becoming quilt artists and influences how they approached their careers as artists. Their stories provide a glimpse into the lives of the pioneers who changed the course of quilt history when they transformed a functional domestic object into an art form, inspiring subsequent generations of quiltmakers and artists.