May 2 – July 31, 2023
Lobby & Second Floor, Main Library
When author Jennifer Regan moved to Cambridge in the late 1980s, she had an artistic and feminist awakening. She had recently left behind a whirlwind life as the spouse of a prominent Buffalo politician. Newly divorced, middle aged, and in an unfamiliar city, Regan found artistic expression in poetry, painting, and most significantly quilt making or rather creating “stitched narratives,” thematic stories sewn with symbolism and subversion.
Reworking the traditional themes of American quilts, such as a focus on biblical stories, she created narratives negotiating femininity, marriage, motherhood, and society through a feminist lens. For some of her pieces, Cambridge became a focal point – either directly inspiring her or serving as her subject. The Renaissance, politics, and societal inequities deeply influenced her other pieces. Regan’s career as an artist in Cambridge flourished and she created over 100 pieces between 1989 and 2006. Her stitched narratives can be found in the New England Quilt Museum and Burchfield Penny Art Center collections.
This exhibit features the Library’s newly acquired Jennifer Regan Stitched Narratives and explores the ways in which Cambridge influenced her artwork and new feminist perspective. View these exciting new additions to the Library’s Archives and Special Collections on display at the Main Library in the Lobby and the Second Floor.
Join us for an opening reception on May 11 at 6:30 pm with a talk by quilt expert Pamela Weeks and educator Jennifer Regan as they discuss the rise of arts quilts and Jennifer Regan’s role in the movement.