January 28, 2013

Quilts in Everyday Life

Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955: A 100-Year-Photographic History by Janet E. Finley
(I have no connection with the author or publisher at all, just thought I'd say it's a dandy book.)

I think I heard about this book via the Quilt History List.  I took a peek at it, and was sold on it right away.  It presents items from Janet Finley's huge collection of antique photos that include people and quilts.  So cool for me!  Quilts, clothing history, and social history all combined in one handy book!  The changing ambiance of the photos over time gives such a wonderful view into the "march of history" on all sorts of levels.

Not only that, the glimpses into homes and private scenes and street scenes are all very touching as well as factual.  It feels right somehow, to look into these old, old faces, many of them now anonymous, and give these people some recognition and credit for a life well-lived.  Personalities are sometimes very apparent, from sedate to out-of-the-box.  And, some of the folks are identifiable, and do have some pretty fun stories attached.  

It's like having a little peephole into daily life of long ago.  I'm always so curious about what the past was really like.  It's something we can't ever know, unless someone does invent time travel.

There's also a lot of photography history information.  It's not a topic I know much of anything about, but I do have some old family photos, some dating back into the 1800s, and I'm inspired now to pull them out and see how they fit into the info in this book.

Here's a review, from the Denver Post.  And here's another review, from the Why Quilts Matter blog.  This one will give you a couple of sneak peaks inside the book.  (Why Quilts Matter is a documentary series produced by the Kentucky Quilt Project.  I also have no connection with W.Q.M., but would also recommend viewing the series to add to your quilt history knowledge.)

I'm so grateful that Janet Finley collected all these photos, and now is sharing them with all of us!

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