Quilter Marla Jackson presents museum talk as part of Civil War on the Western Frontier activities

Marla Quilts Inc., African American Museum and Textile Academy News Release

For more information, contact:

Marla Jackson,
Marla Quilts Inc., African American Museum and Textile Academy
(785) 371-6682

Note: A pdf version of a flier with a detailed listing of Civil War on the Western Frontier program offerings is attached here.

Quilter Marla Jackson presents museum talk
Presentation about Maria Rodgers Martin is part of Civil War on the Western Frontier activities in Lawrence, KS

Civil War on the Western Frontier is an annual series of programs offered by history organizations in Douglas County in August, to mark the anniversary of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, KS. On Saturday, August 15, at 2 p.m., quilter Marla Jackson will present a Gallery Talk at her African American Museum and Textile Academy, 2001 Haskell Ave., Second Floor, Room 206, Lawrence, as part of Civil War on the Western Frontier.

The focus of Jackson's gallery talk is Maria Rodgers Martin (1831-1922). Martin was a slave on the Wayside Rest Plantation near Harrisonville, MO, when she was taken from the plantation home of Robert Brown by Federal troops during a raid. In Lawrence, she served Senator James Lane as his personal servant. One of the children she took with her was son Benjamin P. Martin who was three years old. He returned to Harrisonville in 1869 and became an accomplished blacksmith. Maria returned to Harrisonville in 1900, to live with that son. She was buried in the Brown family cemetery upon her death in 1922, at the age of 91, having outlived all eight of her children.

Jackson became interested in Martin's story while doing research for a story quilt she created, Still We Rise, about Quantrill's Raid. Jackson received a Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Interpretive Grant to help fund this quilt, and later received a second grant to create a series of quilts depicting Maria Rodgers Martin's story. The Martin quilt series is called Turkey Red.

Jackson is a world-renowned for her quilting artistry. Her works have been exhibited in over thirty-five national and international venues, including the American Folk Art Museum, The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. One of her most famous works is part of the permanent collection in Smithsonian's Anacostia Community.

Jackson's narrative quilts are inspired by oral histories of ancestors, and the Kansas region. She has been featured in Kansas History Society Quarterly, Threads of Faith, MS Magazine, Speaking Out of Turn Magazine, PBS programs, local and regional publications. At her gallery and textile academy, Jackson often works with teenagers, teaching them fabric dyeing, sewing and quilting. Jackson donates art supplies and her expertise to Liberty Memorial Central Junior High School, in Lawrence, Kansas.

For more information about the Maria Rodgers Martin Gallery Talk, contact Jackson at (785) 371-6682.

Jackson's program is one of several Civil War on the Western Frontier programs being offered between August 15 and August 22, 2015. The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St., collaborated with the City of Lawrence/Lawrence Parks and Recreation to offer a bus tour to historic sites, walking and bus tours of downtown Lawrence, a mud fort class, lectures, music, and an evening flashlight tour at Oak Hill Cemetery. The final program in this year's series is a solemn reading of the names of the Quantrill's Raid victims, on Saturday, August 22, at 5 p.m., in the Japanese Gardner next to the Watkins Museum. Some of the events, such as the reading of the names, are free and open to the public; others have an admission charge.

More information about Civil War on the Western Frontier programs can be found on the Watkins Museum Web site, www.watkinsmuseum.org, or the Freedom's Frontier online calendar at www.freedomsfrontier.org, or call the Watkins Museum at (785) 841-4109.

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