Monday, June 11, 2012

Memories of the Prairie Lecture Series: A Rose by Any Other Name

The Dickinson County Historical Society will present A Rose by Any Other Name, a first-person portrayal of Rose Kretsinger by Debbie Devine on Saturday June 16 at 7:00pm at the Dickinson County Heritage Center in Abilene, Kansas.  This program is part of our Memories of the Prairie lecture series.

Rose Kretsinger was co-author of one of the most highly celebrated quilting books, Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America in the early twentieth century.  Two of her award-winning quilts were named the top one hundred quilts of the twentieth century.  Rose was born in Hope, Kansas in 1886, and became one of a talented group of quilters in Emporia, Kansas during the first part of the twentieth century.  Rose's influence and encouragement fostered exquisite design and applique quilting techniques among the quilters who produced elegant applique quilts that are still admired and appreciated today.  Rose is in the National Quilters Hall of Fame.  Rose died in 1963 after a long, creative life.  Her designs and willingness to share them live on in this historic performance by Debbie Devine.

Debbie brings Rose back to life in a historic portrayal, sharing Rose's life story as well as her quilting design philosophy and techniques.  Debbie has completed extensive research about Rose and is grateful to have been able to interview Rose's son Bill, and her grandson John and his wife Claudia.  Debbie has also developed her portrayal based on information about Rose obtained at the Lyon County Historical Society and the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas, which is the repository for quilts Rose made during her lifetime.  The performance is also based on information from research about Rose published by Barbara Brackman, Jonathan Gregory, and others.

Debbie used her background as a researcher and quilter for this endeavor.  During her tenure at the University of Florida, she was named one of the top fifty researchers on campus.  She, like Rose, loves applique quilting and has used her quilting passion to recreate some of Rose's patterns and techniques.  In preparation for this historical portrayal, Debbie has taken historic performance classes at Ride into History, offered by Dr. Joyce Thierer (a.k.a. Calamity Jane) and Dr. Ann Birney (a.k.a. Amelia Earhart).  Debbie's goals for her performance are to honor Rose Kretsinger and her accomplishments with an interesting and entertaining recreation of this oustanding quilter role model.

The Dickinson County Historical Society is proud to have Debbie as a presenter for this year's Memories of the Prairie lecture series.  The program is free of charge, however donations are always welcome.

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