Monday, March 18, 2013

Radka Donnell Rest in Peace

Yesterday I learned that Radka Donnell died about two weeks ago. I have not seen this mentioned anywhere which made me sad. She was born on November 24, 1928 in Bulgaria. She lived though the war years in Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1951. She was a graduate of Stanford University and earned her MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder while raising two daughters. After moving to Kansas in 1965, she began making contemporary quilts. She also earned a Certificate of Art Theraphy from the Metropolitan Collage in Boston. Her book Quilts As Women's Art: A Quilt Poetics was published in 1990 and has been quoted from often in publications. As you can see mine is well loved.  She was living in Switzerland when she died. I tried to interview her for Quilters' S.O.S. -Save Our Stories and regret that we could never seem to make it happen. The quilt world has lost not only a great artist and poet, but someone who fought for the recognition of quilts as women's art beginning in the 1970s.

She wrote, "I stepped out of the 'art scene' when I began doing my quilts. I have stayed with quiltmaking because it helped me to find wholeness and be open to enjoy, advise, and validate the creativity of other women. I believe we are all equally creative, and my happiest moment regarding art was when one of my students said about my course, 'It helped me realize that I am more creative than I thought before.' This is my [current] objective, and if it does not make me an 'artist,' that's OK with me."


  1. Thank you for telling us about this, Karen. I was not familiar with her, but now I'm going to look her up.

    1. You are more than welcome. I will be curious to see what you think of her work. Hugs, Karen

  2. ohhh yeah - going to add that book to my want list - thanks Karen. I too have felt the loss of fav quilters - one in particular - Joan Colvin. It will be strange as times goes on to lose more.

  3. Karen I highly recommend joining Facebook. Bob Shaw shared this sad news there.

  4. I am on Facebook. I just find it too much of a time waster. Happy to hear Bob shared the news. Thanks!

  5. I agree on the wasting time on FB. LOL But there really are some great groups that have popped up. Quilts-Vintage and Antique, Celebrate Hand Quilting, Quilt Documentation,Crib & Doll Quilts-Vintage and Antique,Hand Applique and Feedsack Friends. I have learned so much.


Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.