A Curious Patchwork of Evanston Treasures

Ever felt the urge to send an email or letter to your favorite celebrity?


Between 1931 and 1958, Evanstonian Ethel Sampson sent dozens of letters to famous politicians, authors, musicians and movie stars of the time, and in return she received priceless autographs, memorabilia, and clothes.

Sampson then masterfully combined artifacts from Amelia Earhart, Richard Nixon, Bing Crosby, Wrong Way Corrigan, Mary Pickford and others to form an enormous hand-stitched quilt that cleverly encompasses the fashions, fads and stories of 20th century Evanston. This brilliant work of art serves as the mesmerizing centerpiece and inspiration for a new exhibit called “A Curious Patchwork of Evanston Treasures,” which is sponsored in part by Make It Better and located at the Evanston History Center (225 Greenwood St.). The event opens to the public on May 8 and will be available for viewing through the end of the year. (Please note: The museum is closed May 7.)

Erin Hughes, the curator of the exhibit, describes the quilt as “a fascinating and timely piece that offers a genuine glance into what life was like 50 years ago.” For more information, visit evanstonhistorycenter.org

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