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Grand Central Centennial Quilts

March 15 – July 6, 2014
Monday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 6pm
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store

New quilt show celebrates Grand Central Terminal through fiber art

Open March 15 to July 6, 2014 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal

The New York Transit Museum’s newest exhibition will honor Grand Central Terminal’s grandeur not in marble, but in textiles. Last year, The City Quilter, a Manhattan-based fabric store, partnered with American Patchwork & Quilting for a national quilt-making contest of landmark proportions. Thirty finalists from that competition will be displayed at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal from March 15 to July 6 in the vibrant new exhibition, Grand Central Centennial Quilts.

For the contest, The City Quilter designed two beige and aqua fabrics, one modeled off the Main Concourse sky ceiling, the other a collage of distinctive features of the Terminal, including the Information Booth Clock, 42nd Street’s imposing statuary group, train track numbers and timetables. With the requirement to use these fabrics in their design, 81 contestants from 25 states submitted quilts for the chance to win a $2,000 grand prize and display their work at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store.

The challenge to reinterpret this grand space in fabric yielded a wide array of artistic visions. The quilts incorporate Grand Central’s iconic architecture, with chandeliers, clocks, celestial ceilings, acorns and oak leaves creatively woven into the designs. Quilters looked to the past, present and even future (by way of East Side Access) for “material,” drawing on personal encounters and family stories for inspiration. Although many of the contestants hail from far outside New York, Grand Central’s influence stretches far and wide: in one work, fabric is cut in the shape of neckties, recalling the daily commute to work on Metro-North; another quilt includes a letter between two lovers who met on the railroad. Each contestant takes a different approach to the theme, utilizing complex quilting techniques and embellishments to express Grand Central’s legacy in fabric. This exhibition is free and will be open to the public March 15 to July 6 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal.

On Thursday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 16 at 12:30pm, representatives from The City Quilter will lead casual, free lunch-time tours of the exhibition in Grand Central. No registration necessary. On Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16, children at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn will take part in a “quilting bee,” stitching different fabric pieces together and thinking of the neighborhoods and transportation lines that connect us all. This program, called Squares in the City, will be complimentary with Museum admission and no registration is required.

Transit Museum exhibitions are funded in part by the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Exhibitions in the Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal are supported by the Hugoton Foundation.

What: Grand Central Centennial Quilts

Where: New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal
42nd Street and Park Avenue
Shuttle Passage adjacent to the Station Master’s Office
                                                              
When:                  March 15 – July 6, 2014

Hours:  Monday – Friday: 8am – 8pm
                                Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Admission:         FREE