This post was authored by Nanette Gibbs, Business Reference Librarian, and Sean Bryant, Science Reference Librarian, of the Science, Technology, and Business Division.
On June 24, 2019, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. the Library of Congress Science and Business Reading Room will highlight the plight of vulnerable endangered species with a display matching the work of fiber artists from the local area, the wider United States and around the world with resources drawn from the Library’s extensive collections.
The quilts on display vividly depict a variety of species of plants and animals ranging from the Longleaf Pine and the Cuban Painted Snail to the Elk and the African Elephant. Many of these species are placed in exquisitely detailed renderings of their environments.
The sixty quilts represent just a small selection of those featured in an upcoming book, Inspired by Endangered Species: Animals and Plants in Fabric Perspectives, highlighting the works of fiber artists. Author Donna Marcinkowski DeSoto maintains an extensive and growing database of highly talented fiber artists from both the United States and throughout the world, and periodically “puts out a call” for work which reflects a chosen topic, in this case inspired by frequent news reports about endangered species.
Each quilt in the book is accompanied by fascinating animal and plant facts from rescuers, scientists, conservationists, and more: where the animals and plants live, what their “superpowers” are, why they are at risk, and how we can help. In the book, dedicated and passionate people who work to protect endangered species share details of their roles and specialties, the planning behind conservation measures, threats to healthy habitats, and inspiring success stories. Several full pages from the book will be on display.
The quilts included with this post, from left to right, are “Elegant Sunbird”, by Nancy Evans, of Jeffersonton, VA, “African Lion”, by Laura Gilmartin, of Stafford, VA, “Loggerhead Turtle”, by Karen Tauber of Blacksburg, VA, and “Bactrian Camel” by Barbara Polston, of Phoenix, AZ, and are used with permission.