Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gee's Bend quilts lawsuits resolved

Ex-docent PennyG emailed this ...

Gee's Bend quilts lawsuits resolved | Seattle Times Newspaper


Gee's Bend quilts lawsuits resolved

By Bob Johnson

The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A trio of celebrated quilters from rural Alabama on
Monday resolved lawsuits against an Atlanta art dealer whom they
accused of cheating them out of their rightful earnings.

Attorneys for both parties asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed, but
they would not give any details of how the claims were resolved.

The elaborate multicolored quilts have been made for years by the
ladies of the community of Gee's Bend, often in the small community
center where they gather for lunch most days. The quilts have been
celebrated as prime examples of Southern folk art, displayed in
prestigious museums and were chosen for the U.S. Postal Service's
American Treasures stamp series.

A major traveling exhibition of the quilts showed last year at Tacoma
Art Museum. The quilts also have been featured in Seattle at Greg
Kucera Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum has acquired a quilt for the
permanent collection.

The lawsuits claimed that three of the quilters — Annie Mae Young,
Lucinda Pettway Franklin and Loretta Pettway — were cheated
financially by Atlanta art dealer William Arnett, his sons, Paul and
Matt Arnett, and Tinwood Ventures of Atlanta.

The Arnetts helped establish a collective for the quilters and
promoted and marketed their works to a wider audience.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile dismissed the suits in an
order issued Monday and said the parties would pay their own legal

An attorney representing the quilters, Peter Burke of Birmingham, said
the lawsuits "have been resolved." He would not elaborate.

An attorney for the defendants, Greg Hawley of Birmingham, would only
say that his clients "are pleased the cases have been dismissed."

Franklin claimed in her lawsuit that the Arnett family stole from her
two quilts that she said were more than 100 years old. Pettway claimed
she was tricked into signing a copyright document, even though she
could not read.

Attorneys for the Arnetts had called the lawsuits frivolous.

Some of the quilters were scheduled to appear this week before the
Alabama delegation at the Democratic National Convention.


Sanjeev Narang
email: ask {*at*} eConsultant dot com
Find me on Facebook // LinkedIn // MySpace
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