George Washington quilt, ca. 1876
Printed cotton; 89 1/2 x 79 1/2 in. (227.3 x 201.9 cm)
Gift of Helen W. Hughart, 1985 (1985.347)
Washington's likeness appeared on many textiles. The craze for his image may have reached its height in 1876, when the nation celebrated its centennial. This quilt's cotton fabric, roller-printed with trompe-l'oeil relief busts, was most likely printed in the United States. The inscription—noting "Washington" and "Independence / 4th July 1776"—and the backing calico of the browns and reds that were so popular in the 1870s help to date the quilt to the centennial period.