Historical Quilt Exhibit

Photo courtesy of Steve Shogren


Eureka Springs Historical Museum offers exhibit through July 31


The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is showing off its quilt collection this summer. The museum's new exhibit, called Our History in Quilts, runs from May 10 to July 31.

Our History in Quilts

The exhibit features the museum's collection of quilts dating back to the mid-1800s, with five stunning contemporary quilts created by the Eureka Springs Quilt Guild being shown for the first time. Those quilts feature famous landmarks in Eureka Springs. Dawn Ward, who works with the museum, said Eureka Springs has a deep history when it comes to quilting.

Live Wire Quilt Club

"We've had large quilting guilds here since the 1800s, so we have quilts that date back to the mid-1800s."

-Dawn Ward, museum historian

Photo courtesy of Steve Shogren

"This is the first time the Eureka Springs Quilt Guild has shared some of these with the public. They are beautiful. They picture Eureka Springs landmarks like the roundhouse. That's very exciting."

Also featured in the exhibit is a very rare red cross quilt signed by Eureka Springs residents in the 1930s. There are a few other quilts from that time period, Ward said, created by ladies involved in the Live Wire Club.

"They were a quilting guild that started in the early 1900s and ended in the 1940s," Ward said. "We have a quilt from them, as well as these quilt blocks that are all signed but were never finished. There's lots of interesting needlework and embroidery, and a big variety in style."

She said quilts reflect a time many have forgotten –– a time when sewing machines didn't exist and quilters put intense labor into their creations.

"I think quilts are somewhat priceless when it comes to that," Ward said. "They're not extremely valuable dollar wise as much as they are when it comes to historical value. We displayed them so you can engage in the patterns and see the stitching and the variety of fabrics used."

She continued, "Some of them were made from silks. Until I started this project, I didn't realize people made quilts from silk material."

The museum is having a fundraiser raffle for a chance to win a quilted wall-hanging from the former Quilt Shop or one of two gift certificates donated by the Quilter's Cottage and Red Scottie Fibers for the Fleece & Flax shop downtown. Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5.

Photo courtesy of Steve Shogren

Of course, there are many other reasons to stop by the museum. Ward said the museum has received some new artwork from the families of Louis Freund and Lester Exley.

"Those are the new things in the gallery," Ward said. "We are excitedly waiting for the conservation of a larger mural by Louis Freund some time later this summer, and we have a really unique display of school history, pioneer days and an interesting handmade doll collection."

The museum should be your first stop when you get to Eureka Springs, Ward said.

"The museum tells you how the town was founded, the history of the springs and the structure of the town," Ward said. "We have lots and lots of photographs and postcards –– a variety of ways to engage in the early history of the town."

She continued, "We have a very interesting display about how fire was such an issue here. We've pulled some new stuff from our collection. If you've been here before, it'll look completely different. If you have never been here, you'll learn some unique things about Eureka, and you'll get to tour the only open historical home in Eureka Springs."

Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located at 95 S. Main St. and is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.