From America's preeminent museum collection, this definitive volume places the quilt firmly in the realm of art. Combining economy with artistry and everyday craftsmanship with extraordinary beauty, quilts hold a unique place in American culture. Each quilt tells a story about its maker and her community; seen together, these monumental textiles paint a broad picture of the development of a national character and uncover the hidden history of women's contribution to art. This volume brings together the two hundred most important examples from the esteemed collection of the American Folk Art Museum, many of which are shown here for the first time. Each masterpiece was chosen carefully as an emblem of its time, style, and technique. Concise texts introducing each chapter remain entirely accessible in tone and never intrude upon the full-page image reproductions and countless detail enlargements that reveal the intricate stitching and surprising dimensionality of the works.