The AIDS Memorial Quilt at WCMA: World AIDS Day 2012
To observe World AIDS Day, which is observed each year on December 1, a block of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt was installed today in the atrium of the Williams College Museum of Art. The quilt will be on view through December 2, 2012.
Displayed in over 1,000 locations each year, viewed by over 18 million people since its inception in 1987, and considered the largest piece of community art in the world, the ever-growing AIDS Memorial Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic. Each 3 x 6 foot panel—the dimensions of a human grave—commemorates the life of someone who died of AIDS. Family members, lovers, and friends construct the fabric memorials. Our block of panels includes one in memory of the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989 at 42 after living with AIDS for three years. Known for his photographs of nude men and women, flower still lifes, and portraits of celebrities, he also started the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to promote photography and to fund medical research into AIDS. Williams last hosted the Quilt in 1998, when 700 panels were displayed in the Chandler Athletic Center.
–Hillary Reder, Graduate Student in the History of Art, Class of 2014
This section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt is on loan from The NAMES Project Foundation. For more information about the Quilt, please visit www.aidsquilt.org.