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Black Pioneers


June 10 – October 1, 2023

Exploring the path of Black history in the West with a timeline of original pictorial quilts, from 1528 through the Civil Rights Movement

Dispelling the myth that Black people in the old West were mostly cowboys, “Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West,” shows rich diversity in their occupations and achievements in society, religion, education, and the arts. This exhibition uses quilts as its visual medium because they highlight the intersections of African Americans in the Western Frontier while informing others about the art form and its important role in African American history. 

This exhibition is organized by The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art and Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, curator, historian, and artist. The Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN) created the 50 quilts especially for this exhibition. Founded by Dr. Mazloomi in 1985, WCQN is a nonprofit whose mission is to educate, preserve, exhibit, promote and document quilts made by African Americans.

Image courtesy Carolyn Crump, The Truth Hurts: Riches, Resentment, Revenge, RIOTS, 2021, ©Carolyn Crump.