American Quilt Classics: The Bresler Collection

August 16, 2015 - January 8, 2017

Mint Museum Randolph


For many years, Fleur and Charles Bresler have collected American quilts. Visual impact, historical value, pictorial imagery and historical fabric have guided them in assembling their important and outstanding collection.

Over 30 years ago, Fleur Bresler purchased her first quilt, an occurrence that was, for her, both magical and momentous. What began as a personal hobby soon evolved into an overwhelming passion to learn about quilts—inside and out. Printed fabrics enthralled her. Quirky appliqué designs tickled her fancy. The Amish quilts spoke to her. Clever designs intrigued her. Over a quarter of a century later, Fleur Bresler had established an impressive and historically important collection of quilts.

Between 2000 and 2001, Fleur and Charles Bresler gifted their 36-piece American quilt collection to the Mint Museum of Craft + Design. Historically vast, the collection features a diversity of designs which illuminate both patterns and process. The collection ranges from late eighteenth and early nineteenth century whole cloth, white work, indigo resist dye, and block printed chintz quilts to mid nineteenth century appliqué, stenciled, mosaic-template pieced, and album quilts. It also includes fine examples of late nineteenth century log cabin, crazy, and charm quilts as well as a handful of unique twentieth century quilts.

These quilts hold within their layers a wealth of information about the people and times in which they were made, and offer a glimpse of the creative human spirit. The quilters, many of whom are anonymous, made extraordinary artistic works out of ordinary materials. Their work has become an enduring legacy, a timeless inspiration to all.