My Life

Ken Burns’ Quilts

Uncovered: The Ken Burns Collection

Ken Burns is undoubtedly THE storyteller of our time.

I’ve enjoyed many of his historical documentaries. I’ve watched most of them, some more than once. My favorite is The Civil War.

Ashokan Farewell, the theme song, was eventually enjoyed over & over again while being played by all 3 of our kids in orchestra.

When I saw on KCRQF’s FB page that a traveling show of some of the quilts from his private collection were going to be on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum I immediately thought of my quilting friends who live in the Peoria area & contacted them to see if they would be visiting the show.

We set a date & this week we met at The Quilt Corner in Morton, visited over lunch & then went to see the quilt exhibit.

The one thing that all of the quilts have in common is that they are all very visual.

Some were beautiful & some were just quilts to me.

Some are in pristine condition & others just ordinary & in less than perfect condition.

As my quilting friends & I were observing the quilts we found ourselves wondering why some of these quilts were chosen for his collection & for display at this show.

Eventually we came across a quote of Ken’s,

It makes me think of quilts & other objects that I own. In some instances the object is valuable in worldly, monetary value & other times it’s a heart thing that the object invokes; a memory of a place, time or person.

Those memories can be more valuable to me than any amount of money.

I’d like to hear the “Storyteller’s” tale of some of those quilts! Since they’re not all valuable monetarily, I’m betting the stories of places or people or memories would be very interesting to hear.

This is a quick video about Ken’s collection & the show. You can see some awesome quilts that didn’t end up in this show too!

While we were there visiting the museum & gift shop, the topic of the Peoria Holocaust Memorial came up. I remembered seeing it when it was new & at the north end of Peoria at an outdoor mall about 20 years ago.

I remember it partly because it was made of buttons.

So… many… buttons… 11 million total. Very sad.

What do you know, the memorial is ironically now exhibited right outside the Peoria Museum so we were able to walk outside & see it in it’s newer location.

The purpose of the Peoria Holocaust Memorial (formerly called “The Button Project”) is to remember the 6 million Jews and 5 million enemies of the state who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust.

1 button for each soul lost was collected from all over the world to make this memorial.

Interesting, since seeing that exhibit 20 or so years ago I think of it sometimes when I walk past a jar of my own antique buttons that I’ve collected over the years. Thought provoking art, wouldn’t you say?

If you can, I recommend visiting the quilt exhibit. Peoria is it’s last stop.

Make some memories for later storytelling.

For more information, click here to go to the Peoria Riverfront Museum website.

Just Keep Sewing…


1 thought on “Ken Burns’ Quilts”

  1. Hi Suzn, Karen and Susan! My daughter and I plan to go visit the exhibit also. I had no idea the buttons had been moved there.

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