A rare 18th century quilt, located in the historic Thoroughgood House, has been awarded the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) "Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts of 2022" "Juried Award."
The award, which provides $1,000 toward the preservation of the quilt, was determined by VAM's Selection Committee, who deemed the quilt "unique, very important historically and could benefit from the prize money to stabilize and preserve it."
"We are so proud and honored to receive this prestigious award," said Annmarie Reiley-Kay, director of the Virginia Beach History Museums. "This quilt is a special piece of our collection, and these funds will help it be preserved for people to enjoy and study for years to come."
This deep indigo-glazed calamanco quilt, which features a "Tree of Life" pattern and elaborate trapunto work, is extremely rare, as no other similarly patterned quilt has been found.
Currently, the quilt is dry, brittle and acidic throughout, with fading on both sides and has small to medium holes and tears scattered throughout its entirety. The edges are worn and unraveling and there is tearing and loss around the corners. This funding will help address these issues.
Following a competitive review of nominations by representatives from VAM's partner organizations such as the Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the quilt was selected as one of "Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts of 2022."
According to VAM's website, "Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts" program aims to shed light on the importance of Virginia museums, and the expense and expertise necessary to care for the unique historic and cultural items in their care.
The quilt garnered more than 1,100 votes for VAM's "People's Choice Award," coming in fourth of all vote getters.