Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Censored - Amigos Muertos - Jonathan Shannon

Perhaps the most well known instance of censorship in the quilt art world was triggered by this quilt created by Jonathan Shannon, who in 1993 became the first male to win the American Quilter Society (AQS) “Best of Show” award with his quilt "Air Show". Jonathan then went on to create "Amigos Muertos" as a commemoration of the lives of artists who died from AIDS and Cancer.

"Amigos Muertos" was submitted to AQS in 1994. It was rejected because of its subject. This censorship caused uproar in the quilt community with many artists responding with disbelief and outrage. A full discussion of this incident is included in Flavin Glover’s interview of Jonathan Shannon for the Alliance for American Quilts:

Despite the controversy in America, "Amigos Muertos" went on to win England’s National Patchwork Championship, and has since been honored as being one of the “Hundred Quilts of the Century”. Jonathan talks about his art:

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