By: Deborah Cooney and Ronda Harrell McAllen
This paper reexamines the Baltimore Album quilt genre, adding to the substantial body of knowledge generated by previous studies. It analyzes the stylistic change in high-style Baltimore Album motifs that occurred around 1848 and confirms the participation of professionals in block design and preparation. A compilation of new information on quilts made for Protestant ministers documents the role of these quilts in defining a specific Baltimore Album style, and in raising the level of their artistic expression. This study suggests that by the 1840s social and cultural ideals prescribed for women were changing, as seen in album quilt motifs and inscriptions that revealed Baltimoreans’ religious, political, patriotic and reformist beliefs.