Alumnae Art to be Added This Spring

Next semester, the Enid Cook Center ’31 plans to introduce a new art piece to the community. For those of you who attended our welcome reception in October, you may have already seen it.  That weekend, Michelle Flamer (Class of ’78) presented a quilt she completed in 2013,  “Mothers of Gynecology”.  An image of the quilt is provided below, but I strongly encourage you to experience it in person.

Artist’s statement about quilt:

“Dr. J. Marion Sims is known as the father of American Gynecology; a statue commemorates his achievements in Central Park, New York City. Little known, are the three African slaves from the Westcott Plantatio4n, Montgomery, Alabama, who were sent to Dr. Sims in 1845 for repair of “fistulae.” Their names are Anarcha, Betty and Lucy. Pregnancies at a very young age and childbirth under harsh conditions left them with fistulae, holes between their vagina and rectum resulting in incontinence. Like broken dishes, these women were no longer useful for plantation work so they were sent by their owner to Dr. Sims for a cure. Through painful trial and error, Dr. Sims performed experimental surgeries on these unanesthetized women. In his biography, Dr. Sims writes that Anarcha endured over 100 surgeries! He is credited with inventing the speculum, after inserting two pewter spoons into Anarcha’s vagina. This quilt honors the courage of these brave black women and pays tribute to their selfless contribution to medical science. ”


Quilt Title:                  Mothers of Gynecology
Artist Name:             Michelle Flamer , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year Completed:    2013
Size:                                42″ X 22″

Cotton fabrics, commercial and hand dyed; antique pewter spoons, silk and metallic threads. Rorshach Inkblot Test Number 7

Hand Embroidery, Broderie Perse, Machine Appliqué and Traditional Pieced Blocks (Broken Dishes), Machine Quilted