Denise Allen's Quilts Portray Everyday Life and History

Denise Allen

NY, Palatine Bridge

Denise Allen is a needlework folk artist and quilter whose work has been exhibited in folk art museums and galleries around the country. Her quilts tell the stories of African Americans throughout history as well as in everyday life. You can see examples of her work on her website. Denise Allen is also a mother who lost her child on September 11th when the twin towers fell.

When Denise's son Richard, who was only 30 years old perished on September 11th, she felt a piece of her creative spirit died as well. Her work all but stopped. The only exception was a 9/11 commemorative quilt she was asked to work on for the Savannah Georgia College of Art and Design a year after the 9/11 attack.


The work on the quilt became all consuming for Allen and while the quilt was never exhibited in Georgia, her efforts came to the attention of the curators of the official World Trade Center Memorial and Museum.


It's still unclear if the quilt will be part of the official installations, but if and where it hangs is no longer important. The quilt is finished, complete with an image of a cross made of steel found during the recovery effort.


Ten years ago Denise and her husband moved out of the city to a safer place, a community in the country, and 10 years after the horrible event, Denise is feeling more like herself again. Her and her husband have "moved on" and she feels her "son is in a better place and can't be hurt by anybody."


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