Primary Source Description One
About the Quilt
This quilt at the NAMES Project HQ is the subject being described in this primary source description is block number 1955. This block is one out of the many blocks on quilts that serve as a memorial for individuals who have lost their lives to AIDS in the NAMES Project headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be focusing on the memorial of Steve Jacoby and his quilt in this post.
The colours on this panel range from greyscale colours on the left-hand and bottom sides the panel with hint of gold on the bottom right design, to different shades of blue on the lower centre half and top of the panel, and a crimson red on the right side and upper centre half of the panel. There are different themes on the quilt but what most have in common is that everyone lived until the early 1990’s. Some embroidery designs are thicker than others and there are different uses of material.
I will be going into further detail about the designs across the quilt so that there is a better understand of the quilt and have the ability to envision the quilt as if it is within your touch, later on give a subjective insight to the life of Steve Jacoby and how the materials in his memorial helped draw a conclusion to such an insight.
Special Details & Design
The overall material of Steve Jacoby’s quilt is a thin grey fabric with blue undertones. There is a numerous amount of personally handwritten messages across Steve’s quilt. There are heartfelt messages sharing their thoughts, condolences, memories, and messages of love presumably written by family and friends. The handwriting on the quilt varies from elegant script style writing to generic print style writing and all appear to be written with an ink pen or any other writing utensil that has permanent ink. “A CHORUS LINE OF CARE” is printed across the top of the quilt. “LOS ANGELES” is printed above Steve’s name in bold letters which could be apart of A CHORUS LINE OF CARE or could be a separate mentioning of just the the city of Los Angeles. A photo in memoriam is knitted into the quilt next to Steve’s name. Also printed on the quilt is cartoonish-styled font stating that Steve Jacoby was born in September 1955 and passed in October 1991, Steve passed at the age of 36.
With the city of Los Angeles printed above Steve Jacoby’s name in a Virginia Large font, one would assume that Steve was a Los Angeles native or was a resident of the city. According to myfonts the Virginia font was often used in LA studios during the 1980’s. The popular culture of Los Angeles in the 1980’s was a culture that was liberated, wild, and an atmosphere of vice. Due to the use of the Virginia font being used it wouldn’t be a bizarre assumption to conclude that Steve Jacoby was apart of the liberated life many young adults lived in Los Angeles during the 1980’s.
Primary Source Description Two
David Rubinstein, Larry Kert, & John David
About the Quilt
This quilt at the NAMES Project HQ is the subject being described in this primary source description is block number 1955. This block is one out of the many blocks on quilts that serve as a memorial for individuals who have lost their lives to AIDS in the NAMES Project headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be focusing on the panels of David Rubinstein, Larry Kert, and John David and the many details among their panels.
Each panel has their unique theme among themselves, as on David Rubinstein’s panel the outline of the panel is a midnight black colour. Within the fill area of the panel there is a black and white checkered design flowing vertically and horizontally across the panel. In the centre of the panel there is a gold frame that resembles a picture frame. Inside the golden picture frame is stitched in text that displays David’s name and his month and year of birth and month and year of which he had passed. Finally the white mask that is wrapped around with the text that gives important information about David Rubinstein. On Larry Kert’s panel the entire background colour is a darker shade of red. There are two silhouettes of dancers one silhouette that is filled in with black and the other silhouette being hollow and blending in with the red background. Between the two of the dancing silhouettes there the letter z is formed with what seems to be ladders. Below the silhouettes and the letter z formed from ladders is the year from which Larry Kert was born (1934) to the year he had passed (1991). Finally on John David’s panel the background colour is a cream white. There are cropped photos of John with family and friends lined around the outer region of the middle of the panel. On the left side of the middle of John’s panel is a drawing of a mountain with a few evergreen trees around the the mountain which depicts are taiga biome which can be found in the Rocky Mountains and on the west coast of the United States and Canada. On the right side of the middle of John’s panel are two hats one is red and other is blue. Finally in the exact centre of the panel is a grey eagle. There is text around the visual contents of the quilt that tells information about John like his day of birth which was July, 1 1955 and the day of his passing which was September 12, 1991.
In the middle of David Rubinstein’s panel is a golden rigid quilt material that resembles a picture frame. The style of the design along the corners and sides of the frame are similar to the French ‘fleur-de-lis’ design which was commonly used for catholic saints. Within the golden picture frame is a solid black background fill with golden stitched in letters and numbers with a medieval-style font that say:
The letters are tightly threaded along the edges with a golden-yellow colour to create an outline of the letters. On the inside of the letters and numbers is a rougher textured shiny gold material that feels like sequins at the touch. Finally in between all of the golden text is a white mask that pops up off the quilt to add a 3-dimensional effect to the quilt. Along the outside of David’s panel is a checkered pattern of black and white that patterns their entirety of the quilt aside from the golden frame in the middle. All throughout the checkered pattern on the panel there are various handwritten messages on the quilt from friends, family, and coworkers. Some of the messages on the quilt are the following: “Danny, I’ll miss you & love you my life my whole life. Shesh” ; “Dear David ‘Let your spirit start to soar!’ Love, Ryan” ; and “David lives for pleasure and his greatest pleasure was giving happiness to others also many times looking into his messy laughing eyes and giggles together. Ill always love you David. Love, Psyloia.”
There is not much to Larry Kert’s panel but the complete background of Kert’s panel is a crimson red, stitched on top of the crimson red fabric is black text that says “Larry Kert” and “1934-1991” which indicates the year he was born and the year he passed. Between the text displaying his name and time of life is a stitching of ladder-like figures in the shape of the letter “Z” with two silhouettes in it. The silhouette on the left is hollow and only has the outline and the silhouette on the right is filled and has a black filling.
These hats on John David’s panels are stitched on on the right side of the centre of panel. The colours on the two baseball caps are inverted between the whole colour of the hat and colours of the numbers stitched onto the baseball cap. The hat on the left is a candy red baseball cap with royal blue stitched number that says 1955 on it which indicates the year of birth for John David. The hat on the right is a royal blue baseball cap with candy red stitched number that says 1991 which indicates the year John David had passed. The numbers stitched into the baseball caps are with thread and they are very rigid at the touch. Beneath the candy red baseball cap is are three hollow cross symbols drawn on with a permanent marker. In the middle of the hollow cross symbols are butterflies with the bodies of the butterflies being drawn onto the quilt with marker and the wings of the butterflies made of a bright red and soft feathery material. Underneath the three hollow crosses with butterflies inside them are small cross symbols and dash symbols drawn in with marker as well. Beneath the royal blue baseball cap are blue waves drawn with a marker to depict a body of water. Above the royal blue baseball cap the space above is painted over with a mix of black, brown, and desert sand yellow to depict a shore or beach. On top of the painted space is a hard clay material molded and designed to depict a fish and to the left of the fish is a string material.
On the left side of John David’s panel is a painting with rolling green mountains in the background and one sharply textured mountain in the middle of the painting composed of purple, white, pink, blue, and orange paint. Below the sharply textured mountain are paintings of evergreen trees. At the top of the painting is text that says “I am a child of God and He Loves me.” Surrounding the painting are pictures of John David with family and friends. In the middle of the John David’s panel is a stitching of an eagle made with a soft grey cotton material. The designs that give the eagle detail is made of a thin black thread.