American, New England
Cotton; 103 x 97 in. (261.6 x 246.4 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Jacob Kaplan, 1974 (1974.32)
Many quilts that featured eagle motifs were made in the years surrounding the nation’s Centennial in 1876; however, this quilt with the single central eagle stylistically seems to have been made a few decades earlier. The twenty-six stars above the eagle’s head may provide a clue to the date of this quilt. In 1837, Michigan was admitted to the Union as the twenty-sixth state; given that quilt makers often commemorated national events, this piece may well have been made in celebration of that occasion. The printed cottons pieced and appliquéd into the quilt appear to date from the 1830s and 1840s.