Exhibition: Mary Lee Bendolph: Quilted Memories

Event Date

Sunday, December 15, 2019
All Day


Dates & times for December 2019
Saturday, December 14, 2019 All Day
Sunday, December 15, 2019 All Day
Monday, December 16, 2019 All Day
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 All Day
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 All Day
Thursday, December 19, 2019 All Day
Friday, December 20, 2019 All Day
Saturday, December 21, 2019 All Day
Sunday, December 22, 2019 All Day
Monday, December 23, 2019 All Day
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 All Day
Wednesday, December 25, 2019 All Day
Thursday, December 26, 2019 All Day
Friday, December 27, 2019 All Day
Saturday, December 28, 2019 All Day
Sunday, December 29, 2019 All Day


Georgia Museum of Art
90 Carlton Street
Athens GA 30602


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This exhibition features quilts created by artist Mary Lee Bendolph spanning three decades. Bendolph worked in textile-related fields until 1992, when she retired and then had more time to devote to quilting. The artist, who is from Gee's Bend, Alabama, comes from a family with generations of talented quilt makers. Bendolph learned to quilt from her mother, who helped launch the Freedom Quilting Bee during the 1960s. She began a career working for local textile mills, making garments such as army uniforms. She also earned additional funds for a brief period working with women at the Quilting Bee to provide for her family. Bendolph began to hone her own style in the years that she was affiliated with this important craft cooperative, which included several family members. She was also one of many members of the Gee’s Bend community to accompany Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his march at Camden, Alabama (across the river from Gee’s Bend) in 1965. Inspired by King’s activism, she became involved with local voting rights demonstrations. Quilt making was a natural activity that took place between planting and harvesting periods throughout the year in the Gee’s Bend community. The collaborative process of making quilts often entailed conversations, singing, and prayers, which produced bonds of trust among the quilters, who expressed joy in moments of personal triumph and comfort in times of emotional trauma. Annually, Bendolph had the opportunity to learn from other more experienced quilters but also time to improvise and develop her own style. Quilting done individually provided opportunities for self-reflection and personal healing. Bendolph has produced hundreds of colorful, geometric designs linked to family memories, local architecture, and images from daily life using her preferred materials of family clothing scraps over newer cloth. Like others who emerged from the Freedom Quilting Bee, Bendolph’s experimentation with styles attracted the attention of collector William Arnett, whose efforts to document and promote Gee’s Bend led to exhibition opportunities. Since the mid-2000s, Bendolph has embraced opportunities to promote the quiltmaking experience as not only evidence of aesthetic excellence among women but also as significant in community building and personal devotion.
Facility Amenities
  • Parking off Site
  • Parking on Site
  • Concessions
  • Public Restrooms
  • Accessible by Public Transportation
Payment Options
  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • Discover
  • Visa
Special Tags
  • Eco-Friendly
  • LGBT
Suitable for Ages
  • All Ages
General Information
  • Family-Friendly
  • Free Admission
  • Accessible