Wilson, Ruth Anderson. Alphabet Quilt

Ruth Anderson Wilson Alphabet Quilt 1931
Ruth Anderson Wilson, Alphabet Quilt, 1931

Artist: Ruth Anderson Wilson

Title: Alphabet Quilt


Date: 1931

Dimensions: 86″ x 74″

Location in Library: Fourth floor

Media: Cotton fabric, batting, and thread

Owner: The Brooklyn College Library Collection.

Gift of Barbra Buckner Higginbotham. © Artist’s Estate


Ruth Anderson Wilson made this alphabet quilt during the Great Depression, when practical concerns far outweighed artistic aspirations. Nevertheless, the quilt is fully worthy of a place on a wall. It has a balanced composition and a charming color palette, and it is expertly sewn, with small, even stitches that indicate a skilled and steady hand.

Furthermore, the quilt contains a small but sophisticated surprise. After 23 pairs of letters and illustrations, the letter Y is paired with the word “YOU.” For a young reader, this penultimate square is a joke whose punch line is self-awareness.

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