Book Talk – A New Deal For Quilts by Janneken Smucker

A Virtual Book Talk with Author Janneken Smucker

During the Roosevelt Administration’s efforts to combat the Great Depression, the quilt became an emblem for how to lift one’s family out of poverty, piece by piece. Janneken Smucker will share insights from her new book, A New Deal for Quilts, exploring how the government drew on quilts and quiltmaking, encouraging Americans to create quilts individually and collectively in response to unemployment, displacement, and recovery efforts. Quilters shared their perspectives on New Deal programs including the Tennessee Valley Authority and the National Recovery Administration, and sent quilts as gifts to the Roosevelts and other officials. Federal programs used quilts’ symbolic heft to communicate the values and behaviors individuals should embrace amid the Depression, perceiving the practical potential of crafts to lift morale and impart new skills. The presentation will include governmental photographs of quilts and quiltmakers, along with images of quilts made and inspired by the New Deal.

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

3 – 4:30pm ET

Zoom, a link will be sent to participants the day before the event.

Cost: Sliding scale ($0 – $50)

All donations of $50 will include a physical copy of the book. Shipping will be calculated at checkout. Please make sure to include your correct shipping address at checkout. Contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding donations and orders. 

Tatter Library is a registered 501(c)3. Our speaker series is part of our community programming and proceeds support the maintenance of our collection. We would like to make this lecture available to anyone who would like to participate, therefore tickets for this event are sold on a sliding scale. Our suggested donation is $25, but if you wish to pay less or more, you may select a different amount from the drop down menu. As always, we are grateful for your support, which ensures the continuation and preservation of textile knowledge.

**This session will be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all those who register following the live session.

Janneken Smucker

Janneken Smucker is a fifth-generation quiltmaker, curator, and Professor of History at West Chester University outside of Philadelphia. Author of Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (Johns Hopkins, 2013), Janneken lectures and writes about quilts for popular and academic audiences. She hosts and co-produces Running Stitch, A QSOS Podcast, in partnership with the national non-profit Quilt Alliance, drawing on oral histories with contemporary quiltmakers. She curated the exhibit, A New Deal for Quilts, at the International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which accompanies the book of the same name.

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