The Textile Museum Journal: The Quilts of Bisa Butler

Quilt featuring two adults and two children
Bisa Butler, "Black Star Family, First Class Tickets to Liberia" (detail). Photo by Ian Rubinstein. Courtesy of the Claire Oliver Gallery.


As a part of our online interview series for The Textile Museum Journal, contributing scholar Nancy Demerdash discusses the photorealist quilting practice of contemporary African American artist Bisa Butler.

Dr. Demerdash explores the implications of Butler’s quilted works for African diasporic connectivity and memory. Her research is in dialogue with artistic interlocutors who also grapple with questions of memory and marginalized histories. In this interview, she will examine how Butler spotlights previously unexplored, historical African American narratives, and how the very materiality of the quilted medium enlivens these narratives.

About The Textile Museum Journal

Our peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal

About Nancy Demerdash

Dr. Demerdash is assistant professor of art history at Albion College. She has many publications on modern and contemporary art and architecture in the Middle East and North Africa, including articles in the Journal of North African Studies, Journal of Arabian Studies and Perspective: actualite en histoire de l’art. She holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Series

In this virtual series, authors who contributed to volume 48 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss new research on African textiles with guest editor Sarah Fee. Browse all interviews