William T. Young Library

Wade Hall Quilt Collection




quilt map             lone star


About the Quilt Collection

Dr. Hall is a retired professor of English & the Humanities at Bellarmine College in Louisville. As an aficionado of folk art, he has collected quilts for the past 30 years, purchasing primarily in the Ohio Valley region, many within a 100 mile radius of Lexington.

More than one hundred quilts were donated to the University of Kentucky's William T. Young Library and 64 currently are hanging on the interior walls of the fifth floor. This collection is unique in that it displays quilts that have been used and loved in the course of their lifetime. Stains, tears, fading fabric and lopsided shapes are the result of this normal, everyday living and add a sentimental dimension to the collection that may not be found in a more art-oriented collection.

This collection was prepared for hanging by Helen Thompson, a Lexington quilt appraiser consultant. Beginning in February 1998 and working with a group of 25 to 30 volunteers, each quilt was lined with a separate back. Then a sleeve was applied to the top and bottom of the quilt to accommodate both a hanging rod for the top and a weighted rod at the bottom. The entire collection was collected for the dedication of the William T. Young Library on April 3, 1998.