Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cultured Clutter in Things Victorian

I'm finally beginning to understand the apparent chaos we see in things Victorian. Recently we visited The Amerind Foundation: A Museum of Native American Archaeology, Art, History, and Culture. It's in the middle of the desert in southeast Arizona and we found a treasure there.

Among many other fascinating exhibits was a small room arranged like a museum would have done during Victorian times. The information on the display explained that instead of an orderly exhibit by time and type Victorians preferred to have a bit of everything mixed together, a way of showing the variety in their travels and other cultural experiences.

This is seen in Victorian quilts as well. An obvious example is the crazy quilt but as I worked designing a Log Cabin quilt I realized even a simple Log Cabin was made in such a way as to show off the variety of fabrics used. In fact after looking at several quilts of the period I had to really force myself to avoid my modern tendency to put the fabrics in perfect order from light to dark.

(artifacts graphic from Karen's Public Domain)
(log cabin doll quilt by Judy Breneman)

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