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Symposium focuses on Southern quilts
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Authorities and scholars on quilt history, identification, conservation and preservation will speak at a March 4-5 public symposium at Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library.
Speakers during "Quilts: A Social and Cultural History of Rural Mississippi" will include Mary Elizabeth Johnson, author of Mississippi Quilts; Carol Vickers, chairman of the Mississippi Heritage Quilt Search Project; and Martha Ginn and Ollie Jean Lane, trained quilters and juried show participants.
Activities begin March 4 with a 7 p.m. reception, photo exhibit and book signing in the library's John Grisham Room. The March 5 program begins with an 8 a.m. welcome and coffee, followed by a 9 a.m. opening session.
The symposium will focus on the history of Mississippi quilts and quilt research as links to rural and agricultural families and communities in Mississippi, said Wanda K. Cheek, associate professor of human sciences and coordinator of the symposium.
"Anyone interested in learning more about the history of Southern quilts is invited to attend," she said. "This event has been planned for persons of all levels of interest and knowledge. In the history of rural and agricultural Mississippi, quilts are recognized as a valid historical record of the social and economic times in which they were sewn."
Discussions of the history of Southern quilts will focus on dating, socioeconomic conditions that influenced quilting traditions, an introduction to patterns and print identification, and proper methods for care, conservation and preservation of quilts.
"Participants may bring an heirloom quilt for identification and for show-and-tell during the symposium," Cheek said.
Registration is limited to 100 and is available by contacting Beth Jackson at the MSU Libraries at (662) 325-0813. Online registration and a complete schedule of events is available at http://library.msstate.edu/quilts/. There is an $18 registration fee.
The symposium is sponsored by MSU's Libraries, Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi, School of Human Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Extension Service. Additional funding for the symposium is provided through a mini-grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.