The room in the Baltimore Museum of Art housing Rumination and a Reckoning, an exhibition of 10 quilts by Stephen Towns, feels more like an intimate chapel than a textiles gallery. It’s not just the religious iconography the local artist laces through his work or the placement of his largest piece, “Birth of a Nation” (2014), as a commanding centerpiece to anchor the smaller, narrative quilts chronicling the private life and fabled rebellion of slave insurgent Nat Turner (much like the Stations of the Cross in a church). It’s also the viewers’ reverence for Towns’s work and the figures stitched within their fibers.
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