Quilts on display
One of the most famous quilts in history is the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was begun in San Francisco in 1987, and is cared for by The NAMES Project Foundation. Portions of it are periodically displayed in various arranged locations. Panels are made to memorialize a person lost to HIV, and each block is 3 feet by 6 feet. Many of the blocks are not made by traditional quilters, and the amateur creators may lack technical skill, but their blocks speak directly to the love and loss they have experienced. The blocks are not in fact quilted, as there is no stitching holding together batting and backing layers. Exuberant designs, with personal objects applied, are seen next to restrained and elegant designs. Each block is very personal, and they form a deeply moving sight when combined by the dozens and the hundreds. The quilt as a whole is still under construction, although the entire quilt is now so large that it cannot be assembled in complete form in any one location.
Beginning with the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1971 exhibit, Abstract Design in American Quilts, quilts have frequently appeared on museum and gallery walls. The exhibit displayed quilts like paintings on its gallery walls, which has since become a standard way to exhibit quilts. The Whitney exhibit helped shift the perception of quilts from solely a domestic craft object to art objects, increasing art world interest in them.
The Museum of the American Quilter's Society (also known as the National Quilt Museum) is located in Paducah, Kentucky. The museum houses a large collection of quilts, most of which are winning entries from the annual American Quilter's Society festival and quilt competition held in April. The museum also houses other exhibits of quilt collections, both historic and modern.
In 2010, the world-renowned Victoria and Albert Museum put on a comprehensive display of quilts from 1700 to 2010, while in 2009, the American Folk Art Museum in New York put on an exhibition of the work of kaleidoscope quilt maker Paula Nadelstern, marking the first time that museum has ever offered a solo show to a contemporary quilt artist.
"Collecting New York Beauty Quilts: Bill Volckening's Passion" was featured in 2013 at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.
The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in California also displays traditional and modern quilts. There is free admission to the museum on the first Friday of every month, as part of the San Jose Art Walk.
The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum is located in Golden, Colorado.