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Book Cover
Author Falls, Susan, author.

Title Overshot : the political aesthetics of woven textiles from the Antebellum South and beyond / Susan Falls & Jessica R. Smith
Published Athens : The University of Georgia Press, [2020]
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents Setting the loom -- Said to have been made by slaves -- Plain-style people -- Pioneer sisters -- An optical art -- Unfolded
Summary "In the decades preceding the Civil War, coverlets became popular in rural white American households. Often woven by itinerant professional male weavers at the specification of women for use in their homes, these coverlets represent a distinctly American tradition that reflects a rich legacy of folk textiles. Examples of these coverlets are exhibited in both northern and southern states, although in different contexts. They are sometimes exhibited in slave quarters along the seaboard in Georgia and South Carolina in association with plantation properties, as well as in piedmont areas in association with the antebellum yeomanry.These southern textiles are particularly interesting not because of their uniqueness within American textile production in the first half of the 19th century, but because they are most often attributed, in the context of the museum display, to everyday African American slave use, and sometimes to slave production. There is a distinct contrast between the aesthetics of slave house textiles (which are usually bold, hand spun, artisan woven overshot with double weave undulating geometrics) and those of the plantation houses (which tend to be associated with polychromatic European imported printed and woven designs). What can we learn by examining the exhibition and interpretation of these textiles within narratives of American history? This book seeks to answer that question through the examination of these critical questions: How do these textiles arrive in museum collections? How does their placement in slave and servant quarters position them within a history of African American enslaved people's material culture, when in fact they might have been cast offs from an owner? And, finally, in investigating the politics of contemporary exhibition practices, how do appearances resulting from mode of production shape the production of history? Through these explorations, Falls and Smith contend that these exhibits can tell us far more about America's lifestyles today than they might accurately represent the past, particularly with regard to ideas about race, class, gender, the value of women's work, and the separation of private versus public spaces"-- Provided by publisher
Notes "A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund publication"--Verso title page
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Aesthetics -- Political asepcts -- United States
Coverlets -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century
Hand weaving -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Museum exhibits -- Social aspects -- United States
Textile design -- United States -- History -- 19th century
HISTORY / United States / 19th Century
Hand weaving.
Manners and customs.
Museum exhibits -- Social aspects.
Textile design.
Southern States -- Social life and customs -- 1775-1865.
Southern States.
United States.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
Author Smith, Jessica R., 1971- author.
ISBN 0820357723