The Joslyn Art Museum is showcasing “Pattern and Purpose: American Quilts from the Shelburne Museum” until Jan. 6.

The collection at the Joslyn brings together 32 quilts made between the early 1800s and the turn of the 21st century. The press release states that the exhibit will have quilts in various styles, such as early whole-cloth, which were created for warmth and utility, Lemoyne stars, embroidered botanical quilts and contemporary art quilts.

The Shelburne Museum was the first American museum to exhibit quilts as works of art, in testament of the museum’s founder Electra Havemeyer Webb and her passion for fine, folk and decorative arts.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to bring works in that complement or enhance what you can see in our permanent collection,” said Amy Rummel, Joslyn director of marketing and public relations. “It is a chance to showcase something different for our audiences who are back frequently.”

Caitlin Divelbess, who was perusing the exhibit, said she preferred “the nontraditional ones” with a “funky style.”

Lindle Che, an Arts and Sciences student and first-time art museum visitor, said that she saw goldfish swimming and girls in white dancing in the quilt “Fingerprints” by Judy Dale.

According to the Joslyn website, quilts were often meant to be showcased “on special occasions” and often were a part of family history.

“Young women often created quilts as part of their dowries, and quilts were often gifted as expressions of friendship, devotion or charity,” the website says.

The Joslyn was funded by Sarah Joslyn as a memorial to her deceased husband George A. Joslyn and opened on Nov. 29, 1931. In May 2013, the Museum stopped charging general admission, again providing free access to the public as it had done from its opening until the mid-1960s.

The entrance fee for this exhibit is $10 for adults, $5 college students with ID and it is free for members and youth ages 17 and younger. A digital audio tour for the exhibit is available to download from the Joslyn’s website. Docent-guided tours of the exhibition are offered weekly.

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