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Shakespeare & Beyond

Folger Finds: A Shakespeare quilt

Shakespeare quilt
Shakespeare quilt

When you picture what’s in the Folger collection, many people imagine books and manuscripts from the early modern period — and we do have a lot of those! But the Folger also collects a variety of Shakespeare-related objects, including this quilt created in 1986: “Homage to Shakespeare ’With wonder great as my content’.”

This Shakespeare-inspired quilt was hand-quilted and hand-appliqued by textile artist Patty Elwin Davis, and it has been exhibited in numerous locations in the United States and Japan, including for the 2007 Folger exhibition Shakespeare in American Life. Davis gave the quilt to the Folger in 2002, along with a second quilt titled “All the world’s a stage.”

Can you recognize some of the Shakespearean characters depicted? We spy Falstaff!

Davis’s award-winning narrative quilts can be found in other collections too, such as the Tucson Museum of Art and the Mattatuck Museum.