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Album Quilt

Artist Culture
Made in
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, North and Central America
Coverings & hangings, textiles
Current Location
Not on view
100 1/4 x 100 1/4 in. (254.6 x 254.6 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Stratford Lee Morton
Public Domain
Object Number
Album or friendship quilts were among the most beautiful and sophisticated American quilts produced in the nineteenth century. These quilts, made in Baltimore between 1846 and 1852, were stitched by groups of women to commemorate special events, to honor a prominent community member, or as a memento for someone relocating in this period of westward expansion. This quilt was made as a tribute to Elizabeth Morrison by a group of Methodist church women. It is inscribed, "Presented to E Morrison By Ladies of Baltimore, MD.," and has eight signatures. Two other inscriptions begin with the words "Friendship's Offering" and "Friendship's Gift." An additional message offers an insight into political events of the time: "From one of the Rough & Ready/To the/Worthy President/Mary Ann Hudgins/1848." U.S. Army General Zachary Taylor, who became the nation's president in 1849, was known to his troops as "Old Rough and Ready." The inspiration for the elaborate appliquéd border on this quilt probably came from an imported chintz fabric.
Ralph Meyer, Delaware Water Gap, PA, USA [1]

by 1948 - 1973
Mr. and Mrs. Stratford Lee (Elise B.) Morton, St. Louis, MO, acquired from Ralph Meyer [2]

1973 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Elise B. Morton [3]

[1] The Mortons acquired the quilt from Ralph Meyer, according to a note on original Accession Record, "fide Margo Jester." Roland E. Jester, of Margo Antiques, St. Louis, provided an appraisal value for 1:1973; this provenance appears to have come through the same firm [see letter of appraisal, dated December 11, 1972, SLAM document files].

[2] A 1948 article about the quilt published in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch cites Stratford Lee Morton as its owner ["Zachary Taylor's Quilt: A Century Ago it was Given to a President," "Saint Louis Post-Dispatch" October 3, 1948; SLAM document files]. Elise B. Morton is identified as Stratford Lee Morton's wife through information on a long-term loan agreement form, dated February 14, 1972 [SLAM document files].

[3] Deed of gift letter, dated January 2, 1973 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, December 12, 1972.
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