Recipient studying Japanese quilting for book, university thesis
The Texas Quilt Museum recently welcomed its firstever Bybee Scholar, Teresa Duryea Wong, who is completing research into contemporary Japanese quilting for an upcoming book as well as her master’s thesis at Rice University.
The distinction stems from the Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Foundation, which recognizes research and projects involving the arts and educational endeavors. “Faith was a great fan of collecting quilts,” says the Bybee’s nephew and Foundation Board President, Barry Moore. “And she would be thrilled beyond measure to know that textile research of scholars would continue in her name. It was something she held dear.” Museum co-founders and co-directors Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, were also on hand to present Wong with a certificate before she began her educational visit. “We have always wanted the Museum to be not only a place where quilt lovers could see amazing works on display, but also a place for study and research into the history of the quilting arts,” the pair say. “We’re very happy to see this dream become a reality.”
Wong is researching her book Contemporary Japanese Quilts and the Quilters Who Make Them, due out from Schiffer Publishing in late 2014/early 2015. She is also tackling the topic for her Master of Liberal Studies degree at Rice University. While at the Museum, Wong got an up -close look at four amazing Japanese quilts by the late Yukiko Hirano, donated to the International Quilt Association by Hirano’s family. With Museum Director Julie Maffei, she also studied several award – winning efforts from Japanese artists in last year’s “Quilts: A World of Beauty,” IQA Judged Show. Finally, Wong examined books and magazines on Japanese quilting – some long out of print in the Museum’s Pearce Memorial Library and Material Culture Center Study with Museum Archivist Dr. Jim Ayres.
She plans to return to the Museum for several visits to continue her studies.
“Words cannot describe how deeply honored I feel being named the first Bybee Scholar,” Wong says. “I set out on this journey to go to Japan and write this book and conduct this scholarly research alone, and I never expected anyone to take much notice. So when I got the notice, I was just speechless…and actually nearly moved to tears!”
The Texas Quilt Museum is located at 140 W. Colorado St., La Grange, Texas 78945. It opened in 2011 and is housed in two 19 th-century buildings in the Historic District of La Grange. Its restoration has won both Preservation Texas and Main Street awards. The Museum complex also includes a period Texas garden with a monumental 13’ x 85’ outdoor mural, Quilts…History in the Making, as its focal point. Learn more at www.texasquiltmuseum.org