Sanford Biggers’s quilt series recalls the supposed use of quilts sewn in specific patterns as signposts for slaves escaping along the Underground Railroad. He employs a complex system of imagery, including star maps, dance notations, and a Buddhist lotus composed of a slave-ship diagram, alluding also to Harriet Tubman’s famous reading of the constellations to find routes north.
Quilting represents an important artistic heritage for African American communities, including the peerless Gee’s Bend quilt-makers from rural Alabama, who in successive generations have worked continuously for nearly a hundred years.
Biggers’s monumental Blossom (2007)—a tree fused with a piano that plays the protest song “Strange Fruit” (see illustration below)—is now on view in the Rubin Pavilion as part of this exhibition.
Textiles and fabric treated acrylic paint on archival paper
sheet: 60 × 60 in. (152.4 × 152.4 cm)
frame: 60 1/4 × 60 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (153 × 153 × 6.4 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of the artist
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Sanford Biggers (American, born 1970). QC #3, 2013. Textiles and fabric treated acrylic paint on archival paper, sheet: 60 × 60 in. (152.4 × 152.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 2013.11. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Courtesy of the artists gallery, CUR.2013.11_gallery_photo.jpg)
. Courtesy of the artists gallery, 2013
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