1936 - 1981

Sadie Bell Square Nelson

Alberta, Alabama
    About

    Sadie Bell's sister, Annie Nell Williams, tells of her family.

    My daddy had cotton, corn, peas, peanuts, potatoes, cane—all of that. We all worked those fields. My mother was Annie Lou Irby—married my daddy, Arthur Lee Square. We lived around here, use to be Rehobeth. My mama, she use to make quilts but they all got burnt up when she was her house burnt down. My sister made quilts when she was growing up. She worked awhile up at the quilting bee there, but she got sick and she passed.

    The Quilts of Gee's Bend

    The Quilts of Gee's Bend

    The women of Gee’s Bend—a small, remote, black community in Alabama—have created hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating from the early twentieth century to the present. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend tells the story of this town and its art.

    Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts

    Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts

    Gee’s Bend quilts carry forward an old and proud tradition of textiles made for home and family. They represent only a part of the rich body of African American quilts. But they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the extent of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement, the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few places elsewhere have works been found by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family, or works that bear witness to visual conversations among community quilting groups and lineages. Gee’s Bend’s art also stands out for its flair—quilts composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometries that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants.

    The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend

    This uplifting, Emmy-winning PBS film tells the modern-day "Cinderalla" story of the quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, Alabama. Artists born into extreme poverty, they live to see their quilts hailed by a The New York Times art critic as "some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced."