These short interpretive pieces explore the role of quilts during the Great Depression, highlighting how various federal programs used quilts and quiltmaking to advance their agendas, unpacking ways Americans made and interacted with quilts during the Depression, and contextualizing the rich primary sources on which this project draws.

To cite, please credit Janneken Smucker, 2023.

Harry Kaplan Makes a Quilt

Interestingly, photographers did not only feature women with quilts. Here Russell Lee posed Harry Kaplan, a previously unemployed garment worker, with his quilt assembled from scraps of suiting at the garment factory in  Jersey Homestead, a cooperative established as part of New Deal to...

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