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Master quilter Patricia A. Montgomery is collaborating with the African American Museum & Library at Oakland to create a series of story quilts, “Forgotten Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement.” The artist and museum will work together on the historical research, exhibit development, installation, and public and educational programs related to the project.

The series will include 20 story quilts each measuring 60” x 60” that then will be structured in the shape of a swing coat. The work will combine the African American quilting tradition with digital images, pastel drawings, and thread work. Each coat will represent one unsung heroine. When exhibited in March 2015 at the African American Museum and Library, the coats will be hung from the ceiling at the level of an average adult, simulating a civil rights march. Some coats will be hung alone, others hung arm-in-arm.

Lead artist Patricia Montgomery has been acknowledged as a master artist for the 2011 Alliance for California Traditional Arts apprenticeship program. Over the years she has created several miniseries story quilts. She has served on the board of the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland.

The African American Museum & Library is one of only a few institutions that combines library services with those of a museum—hosting exhibitions and public programs that focus on the art, history, and culture of African Americans.

Pictured: Alex Haley quilt.