The Quilts of Pauline Parker

December 6, 2019

The Quilts of Pauline Parker

When my mother was a girl she started capturing the streets of her hilly town of Alton, Illinois, in paint. She made her way to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago where her work was included in many of their national and international watercolor shows in the 1940’s. Also a gifted teacher, Pauline shared her love of art making at Northbrook High School for many years.

When she and my father, a sculptor and builder, retired to rural Wisconsin, she continued to paint the landscape and began to make quilts. First they were pattern quilts with patches from Oshkosh jeans and bacon bags, my father’s favorite. Then stories emerged on biblical themes, women’s narratives, scenes of nature, and a pure fantasy that was all her own. She loved to show the quilts around the Midwest and talk about her ideas.

From the late 1980s to 2003, she completed more than 50 quilts. After she passed away, I started the Parker Art Legacy, LLC in 2014 to preserve and promote her work. We are honored and thrilled to have the Milwaukee Art Museum present her work in “The Quilts of Pauline Parker” on exhibit from March 20 to July 19, 2020.

Featured Image: Moses, quilt with appliqué, 91”x 80”, 1988
Photography by Patrick Young.


Anita Hill and the Senate Judiciary Committee, quilt with appliqué, 75”x 62”, 1988