Bios and Bibliography


Jessica Smith is an artist/scholar whose creative work is informed by research on the social and political roles of pattern in western culture, with particular interest in 19th century decorative arts. Smith’s installations have been exhibited across the country at Design Miami, Copper Hewitt, the Walker Art Center and Sheldon Museum of Art among other sites. Published reviews of her work have appeared in the New York Times, The Times (London), I.D. Magazine, and American Craft. She is currently curating an exhibition and writing a book with anthropologist Susan Falls; their project explores ongoing relationships between race, labor, gender, and “craft.” Smith teaches fibers at at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Susan Falls is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on material culture, semiotics and political economy. Interested in exploring how ideology is reflected in the production, circulation, meanings and use of material culture, Falls has worked with diamonds, public art, ikat silk, demolition derbies. She is the author of Clarity Cut and Culture: The Many Meanings of Diamonds (NYU Press) has recently completed a book, White Gold: Stories of Breast Milk Sharing (University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming). The planned exhibition and book with artist/scholar Jessica Smith explores ongoing relationships between class, race, labor, gender, and “craft.” Falls teaches anthropology at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Selected Sources

Arnett, William, Paul Arnett, Joanne Cubbs, and E. W. Metcalf. 2006. Gee’s Bend: the architecture of the quilt: Tinwood Books.

Anderson, Clarita, Foster McCarl, and Muriel McCarl. 2002. American coverlets and their weavers. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in association with Ohio University Press, Athens.

Auther, Elissa. 2010. String, felt, thread: the hierarchy of art and craft in American art. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Beardsley, John 2002. The quilts of Gee’s Bend. Atlanta, GA: Tinwood Books

Bell, Nicholas R and Nation Building (Symposium). Nation building: craft and contemporary American culture. Washington, DC : Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in association with Bloomsbury Press.

Bishop, Claire. “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics.” October (Fall 2004, No. 110): 51-79. 2004. “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics.”   110:51-79.

Bress, Helene. 2003. The coverlet book: early American handwoven coverlets. Gaithersburg, Md: Flower Valley Press.

Bourriaud, Nicolas. 2002. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Les presses du réel.

Cooke, Edward S. 2007. “Modern Craft and the American Experience.” American Art 21 (1):2-9.

Danto, Arthur C. 2006. ” Sheila Hicks, Joan Simon, Nina Stritzler-Levine, and Irma Boom.” In Sheila Hicks: weaving as metaphor. New Haven: Yale.

Delfino, Susanna, and Michele Gillespie. 2002. Neither Lady nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.

Felton, Rebecca Latimer. 1919. Country Life in Georgia in the Days of My Youth (lived 1835-1930). Atlanta, GA: Index Printing Company.

Fry, G. M. 1990. Stitched from the Soul. New York: Museum of Folk Art.

Gordon, Beverly. 1998. “Spinning Wheels, Samplers, and the Modern Priscilla: The Images & Paradoxes of Colonial Revival Needlework.” Winterthur Portfolio 33 (2/3):163-194.

Hagler, D. Harland. 1980. “The Ideal Woman in the Antebellum South: Lady or Farmwife?” The Journal of Southern History 46 (3):405-418.

Hall, Elizabeth. 1914. A book of hand-woven coverlets. New York: Little Brown and Company.

Kemble, Fanny. 1961/1984. Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. Athens, GA: Brown Thrasher Books (UGA Press).

Klassen, Teri. 2009. “Representations of African American Quiltmaking: From Omission to High Art.” The Journal of American Folklore 122 (485):297-334.

McCurry, Stephanie. 1995. Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country. New York: Oxford University Press.

Miller, Barbara, and Deb Schillo. 2013. Frances L. Goodrich’s brown book of weaving drafts. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

Locklair, Paula W. 1997. Quilts, coverlets & counterpanes: bedcoverings from the MESDA and Old Salem collections. Winston-Salem, NC: Old Salem.

Peck, Amelia, and Cynthia V. A. Schaffner. 2007. American quilts & coverlets in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Owsley, Frank Lawrence. 1949. Plain Folk of the Old South Baton Rogue, LA: Louisiana State University Press.

Jarvis, Helen N. 1989. Weaving a traditional coverlet: a how-to book. Loveland, Colo: Interweave Press.

Safford, Carleton L., and Robert Bishop. 1972. America’s quilts and coverlets. Williamsburg, Va: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in association with Ohio University Press, Athens. York: Dutton.

Shaw, M., & Bassett, L. Z. (2012). Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts in the Context of the American Civil War: American Textile History Museum.

Smith, T’ai Lin. 2014. Bauhaus weaving theory: from feminine craft to mode of design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Staples, K. A., & Shaw, M. C. Clothing through American History: The British Colonial Era Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Ulrich, Laurel T. 2001. The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. New York: Knopf.

Van-Tassel, Kristin. “Nineteenth-Century American Antebellum Literature: The Yeoman Becomes a Country Bumpkin.” American Studies 43 (1(Spring)):51-73.

Vlach, J. M. 1991. By the Work of Their Hands: Studies in Afro-American Folklife. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Wilson, Kathleen Curtis. 2001. Textile art from southern Appalachia: the quiet work of women. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press.

Wilson, Kathleen Curtis. “Fabric and Fiction,” Journal of the Appalachian Studies Association, Volume 7, 1995, 50-56.

Zegart, Shelly. 2008. “Myth and Methodology: Shelly Zegart Unpicks African-American Quilt Scholarship.” Selvedge (21).

*For sources on coverlet images, please inquire. All are photographs were taken in historic house museums in Georgia.