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Dr. Marian Ann Montgomery named
Bybee Scholar for 2019!
LA GRANGE, TEXAS—November 28, 2018—Continuing a tradition of recognizing and rewarding those who are committed to the study of quilts and quilting history, Dr. Marian Ann Montgomery of Lubbock, Texas has been named the Bybee Scholar for 2019. The award is presented on behalf of the Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Foundation and the Texas Quilt Museum. The annual distinction aims to recognize the body of work an individual has accomplished in furtherance of the study of quilts, quilting, and quilt history.
“We’ve known Dr. Montgomery since her participation in the Quilt Alliance’s first oral history training session at International Quilt Festival in Houston in 1999,” say Museum co-founders Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes. “And we have always respected her dedication to preserving quilt history and expanding the knowledge of quilts as important artifacts of material culture.”
Montgomery has been the Curator of Clothing and Textiles at the Museum of Texas Tech University since 2014, but her résumé in quilt scholarship for more than 30 years is both extensive and deep.
She has served on the Board and juried quilt studies for the American Quilt Study Group, organized exhibits (including two editions of the multi-venue exhibit Quilt Mania), lectured on quilting and decorative arts topics, published articles on quilt history in many academic journals and quilting newsletters, and currently contributes pieces to TheQuiltShow.com.
She has worked with many Museums across the country on projects, including the Women’s Museum, the Tennessee State Museum, the Tyler Museum of Art, and the Grace Museum. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Museum Administration, with a concentration in Fashion and Textile History.
“It is an honor to be selected for an award that bears the Bybee name. Mrs. Bybee was a true treasure to our country and someone I respected,” Dr. Montgomery says.
“The work of quilt scholars in uncovering information about the techniques, dyes, designers, and makers of quilts fills in important information about the history of our culture and helps us date the quilts to a specific time period. New information is being uncovered regularly that adds to the knowledge base. My work has been to lift up this art form and to share the stories behind the quilts, primarily of the makers and designers who often go unnoticed.”
Dr. Montgomery also happened to work directly with Faith Bybee herself, when Montgomery joined the team at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1989 and Bybee’s collection of quilts and textiles came into their Museum’s collection.
“It was a pleasure to get to know this charming Texan who had educated herself about America’s decorative arts. We shared a common love of beautiful objects of material culture and in particular textiles,” Dr. Montgomery recalls.
“She didn’t just collect objects, she knew her collection intimately. My first visit to the International Quilt Festival in Houston was with Mrs. Bybee. We arrived on Preview Night one hour before the show closed and we made it down just one side of one aisle, looking at the antique quilts being offered for sale. Mrs. Bybee was always on the lookout for ways to improve her collection and made comparisons with every quilt she saw to what was already in her collection. Needless to say, as a quilter, I was struggling to stay by her side and avoid shopping!”
At the time of her selection as the 2019 Bybee Scholar, Dr. Montgomery had already submitted the manuscript for a book on the over 6,000 pieces of printed cotton feed sacks in the Texas Tech Museum’s collection, and is planning an exhibition of this material in the summer of 2019. She will be officially presented with her Bybee Scholar certificate at the February 2019 meeting of the Lone Star Quilt Study Group in La Grange, Texas.
Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee were well-known Houston philanthropists and noted collectors of American decorative arts. They established the Texas Pioneer Arts Foundation to preserve the architectural and decorative arts legacy of German-American immigrants in Central Texas. Previous Bybee Scholars include Teresa Duryea Wong, Kate Adams, Kathy Moore, and Marcia Kaylakie.
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