Recently we learned that Joyce Gross, one of the foremothers of quilt life as we know it, passed away on Christmas Eve. Joyce, early on, was a person who knew that quilts, and the women who made them, matter.
Her passion was quilt history and helped organize the first seminars devoted to scholarly research on the subject. Exhibits she produced in the early 1970s introduced the world to the work of legendary quilters like Rose Kretsinger and Bertha Stenge, as well as some new kids on the block–Jinny Beyer, Jean Ray Laury, and Michael James. Over her long lifetime she acquired, catalogued, and studied a remarkable collection of quilt-related documents, books, ephemera, and fabric samples dating from the earliest part of the twentieth century.
In 2009, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles held an exhibition of famous quilts from Joyce’s collection, on loan from the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. Our own Alex Anderson toured the exhibit and posted a Smilebox on The Quilt Show blog. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life