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Rosie Wilkins Quilt Exhibit opening at Lakeshore Museum Center

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Who is Rosie Lee Wilkins? Piecing Together Her History
Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 10:43:25-05

Quilts are beautiful displays of art telling an amazing story. The works of one woman with West Michigan ties has many of her quilts on display at Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon.

A new exhibit, "Who is Rosie Lee Wilkins? Piecing Together Her History", features a fraction of quilts made by Rosie Lee Wilkins. She was born in Mississippi in 1901 and moved to Muskegon with her family in the late 1940s. She started quilting when she was about 11 years old and continued until she passed away in 1994. It’s estimated that she made over 100 quilts.

In addition to seeing quilts and learning about Rosie, visitors will be able to learn about the research museum staff did and some of the challenges they faced in trying to find out exactly who Rosie Lee Wilkins was.

Exhibit Designer, Kate Curto, contacted the Michigan State University Museum who manages a national database of quilts. They interviewed Rosie in 1986 as part of a statewide event, the African American Community Quilt Discovery Day.

Wilkins' family also shared stories of Rosie’s dedication to quilting, so there is an inside look into each quilt on display.

The exhibit opens November 9 and will be on display until April 24, 2021. There are tours for museum members on November 9, 10, and 11.

To learn more, visit lakeshoremuseum.org.