Psychedelic mushroom quilt, c. 1970

This is a small-scale quilt, meant to hang on the wall.  I consider this piece an early example of psychedelic art, which developed in the late 1960s/1970s.

The quilter’s colors, fabric choices, and motifs–paisley sky, bright rainbow, happy flowers and floating fluffy clouds–evoke the counter culture art and vibe of the period.

Mushrooms are a common theme found in crewel/needlework or ceramic art of the 70s, and they are also often found in fabric prints.

But while there were a lot of quilt patterns published in magazines of the era that were whimsical, depicting landscapes with suns, mountains and rainbows, I’ve yet to see one that centered this floating variety of psilocybin mushrooms. For this reason, I believe this is an original design (please point me to other examples, if you have them. I’d love to see them).

The quilter intentionally placed the mushrooms as the focal point, as though to say, “these are important”. Much like this cover of an 1968 underground magazine, the International Times, that centers an amanita mushroom:

When purchasing the mushroom quilt, the seller informed me that she found it with two other wall hangings of the same era, depicting unicorns. She generously included them in the sale. Here they are, I will eventually get better photographs of them. Similar in size to the mushroom quilt, I do believe they are from the same maker–two versions of the Unicorn in Captivity. No?

 

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