Mary Lee Bendolph
North America, American, Alabama
83 1/2 in. x 76 1/2 in. (212.09 cm x 194.31 cm)
Medium and Support:
Cotton corduroy, cotton, and cotton/polyester blend
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase in memory of Shirley A. Woods, MMFA Assistant Director, 1979–2008
© Mary Lee Bendolph / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Mary Lee Bendolph is one of the renowned quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Her quilts have been featured on United States postage stamps, in a number of exhibitions of quilts from the community of Gee’s Bend, and in her own solo quilt exhibition. Despite having her quilts widely displayed in museums across the country, Bendolph does not view her quilts as art, but instead sees them as practical household goods.
This is one of Bendolph’s varieties of Strip quilt. Bendolph uses the color and texture of the fabric to dictate where she places each strip or block within the quilt, which is often comprised of simple solid-color scraps.The resulting composition is almost architectural in feel, and is entirely improvised. Although her quilts may look similar, Mary Lee Bendolph also takes pride in the fact that she never creates the same quilt twice.