Friday, April 20, 2018

Ken Burns's Quilt Collection

Who knew Ken Burns collected quilts?  He commented that he makes films for others, he collects quilts for himself.  He has an exhibit at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska, through May 5.

Here's a quick tour through some of his quilts.

And here's a slightly longer 5-minute video with commentary by Burns.

For more youtube videos of Ken Burns and his quilts on exhibit in Lincoln, look here.  In one of the videos (maybe one of the above) it shows that he stores many of his quilts by hanging them with several front to back in the same place.  I thought that was interesting.

I'm not an avid collector of antique quilts but when I find one I love and the price is right, it comes home with me.  I need to take some photos and share the ones I have.

Did you know Ken Burns collected quilts?



  1. Thanks for the tour. I had heard that Ken Burns collects quilts but this gave an insight into the reason why he values them. I have a few antique quilts that were my great great aunts but I haven't purchased any on my own. Very insightful. . .

    1. You're welcome, Robin. I guess I read about his quilt collection in some online newspaper a month or so ago but hadn't seen the videos. I thought it was interesting to learn why he values them, too. Lucky you to have some heirloom quilts!

  2. I had no idea. Very cool. Thanks for posting these. I really enjoyed it, but found it fascinating that this man of history is not terribly concerned about the provenance of the quilts.

    1. You're welcome, Janet. In one of the videos he commented that he often finds quilts in antique stores at the bottom of boxes. I suppose it would be really difficult to learn the provenance with so little to go on. He didn't mention any of the quilts having signatures or identifiers to help, either. But it is interesting to see the differences in his approach to telling stories on film and how he regards his quilts.

  3. Thanks for sharing that. It's so great to see so many beautiful quilts preserved. The history of them is equally interesting. I wonder if there's a book, or will be.


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