Skip Navigation

Quilt, Housetop Pattern

Lucy T. Pettway

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, South (rectangular gallery), 4th floor
 The quilters of Gee’s Bend are part of a small Black community in rural Boykin, Alabama. An isolated hamlet bordered on three sides by the Alabama River, Gee’s Bend has a continuous tradition of quilt-making through multiple generations of several families. The artists’ bold compositions and improvisational forms, produced using recycled clothing and other found materials, achieved national fame with a 2005 traveling museum exhibition.

Making quilts for seven decades, Lucy T. Pettway started piecing when she was about twelve, going on to become an adventurous adapter of local and traditional patterns. Quilt, Housetop Pattern is an exceptional example of one of the most popular patterns in Gee’s Bend. Dominated by concentric squares, the Housetop pattern is typically pieced from a starter square, with an improvisational pattern then formed by adding strips and additional squares.
MEDIUM Cotton
DATES ca. 1945
DIMENSIONS 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm)  (show scale)
ACCESSION NUMBER 2018.37.2
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Lucy T. Pettway (American, 1921-2004). Quilt, Housetop Pattern, ca. 1945. Cotton, 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.37.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.37.2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.2018.37.2.jpg., 2018
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Single block Half Log Cabin pattern variation.
RECORD COMPLETENESS
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Lucy T. Pettway (American, 1921-2004). <em>Quilt, Housetop Pattern</em>, ca. 1945. Cotton, 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.37.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.37.2.jpg)