Featuring examples from the MSU Museum’s renowned quilt collection, Ralli Quilts examines the connection between the visual tradition of quilt making and the quilters themselves. In certain locales and cultures, artists have used the characteristic component techniques of quilt making to produce textiles that are strongly associated with their communities. Exuding cultural pride and signifying communal identity, quilts tell histories through their patterning and methods of production.
In southern Pakistan and western India, quilts known as ralli (after the local word ralanna, meaning to mix or connect) are made for functional and ritual purposes. They are constructed using patchwork, appliqué, and embroidery techniques, and have colorful designs that reflect motifs found in ancient pottery of the region. They are visual feasts of color and pattern that reveal traces of their makers.
The selection of ralli quilts presented in this exhibition includes a number that were acquired from Dr. Patricia Ormsby Stoddard, an MSU alum and the author of Ralli Quilts: Traditional Textiles from Pakistan and India (2003).
Ralli Quilts is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Marsha MacDowell, Lynne Swanson and Mary Worrall from the MSU Museum. Support for this exhibition is provided by the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.