Unknown artist, Pineapple Log Cabin or Maltese Cross (detail), around 1850, silk.
Log Cabin: A Canadian Quilt
6 January–6 August 2018
Historical Feature and R. Fraser Elliott Galleries

Season Launch: 18 January 2018
Members’ Preview: 5–6 pm
Public Reception: 6–7:30 pm

Curated by Alicia Boutilier, with the assistance of Sheilagh Quaile, as part of an Art History practicum course.

The Log Cabin quilt is as distinctive in design as it is in versatility. Strips of fabric, or “logs,” are stitched around a square “hearth” to form a block, or “cabin.” Depending on how logs are pieced and blocks arranged, a Log Cabin can take varied forms, such as Barn Raising, Straight Furrow, Sunshine and Shadow, and Pineapple. In the nineteenth century, the Log Cabin quilt pattern was described as “Canadian patchwork,” evoking the colonial homestead. Log Cabin quilts, however, have broad cultural presence—as a nexus of trade networks, artistic exchange, community building and contemporary expression. Featuring quilts from the Heritage Quilt Collection at the Agnes, along with special historical and contemporary works from other collections, this exhibition reveals the many ways in which a Log Cabin can tell a story and embody meaning within regional, national and global contexts.

Josephine Green Botsford, Barn Raising Log Cabin, early 20th century, cotton. Gift of Paul Fritz, Arts ’61, 2015 (Q15-001.05)

Unknown artist, Barn Raising Log Cabin (detail), 1900, velvet and silk. Purchase, Heritage Quilt Collection, 1981 (Q83-009)

Lyla Rye’s Log Cabin (1997) is on special loan from the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, for this exhibition. Made out of linen and rusted nails, Log Cabin is part of a series of sculptures and installations that the Toronto-based installation artist made in 1997, investigating traditional gender roles in the creation of domestic space.

Image: Unknown artist, Pineapple Log Cabin or Maltese Cross (detail), around 1850, silk. Gift of Diane Berry, 1997 (Q97-002) 

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