Marian Ann Montgomery was named the 2019 Bybee Scholar.
Museum of Texas Tech University curator of Clothing & Textiles Marian Ann Montgomery has been named the 2019 Bybee Scholar. continuing a tradition of recognizing and rewarding those who are committed to the study of quilts and quilting history.
The award, presented by the Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Foundation and the Texas Quilt Museum, recognizes the body of work an individual has accomplished in furtherance of the study of quilts, quilting and quilt history. The award namesakes were well-known Houston philanthropists and noted collectors of American decorative arts.
"We've known Dr. Montgomery since her participation in the Quilt Alliance's first oral history training session at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 1999," Texas Quilt Museum co-founders Karey Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes said in a joint statement. "We have always respected her dedication to preserving quilt history and expanding the knowledge of quilts as important artifacts of material culture."
Montgomery has been the curator of the Clothing & Textiles division at the Museum of Texas Tech since 2014 but has worked with quilts for more than 30 years. She will be presented with her Bybee Scholar certificate at the February 2019 meeting of the Lone Star Quilt Study Group in La Grange.
"The Museum of Texas Tech University holds one of the finest collections of textiles and clothing in the United States," said Gary Morgan, executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech. "Dr. Montgomery has been working to further expand the coverage, depth and documentation of the collection, including in our holdings of quilts. This award recognizes her efforts in making the museum's expertise and collections accessible and relevant to visitors to the museum and people across the country."
Montgomery has served on the board and juried quilt studies for the American Quilt Study Group; organized exhibits, including two editions of the multi-venue exhibit Quilt Mania; lectured on quilting and decorative arts topics; published articles on quilt history in many academic journals and quilting newsletters; and currently contributes pieces to TheQuiltShow.com.
Montgomery received her doctorate from New York University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Museum Administration, with a concentration in fashion and textile history. She has worked with many museums across the country including the Women's Museum in Dallas, the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, the Tyler Museum of Art in Tyler and the Grace Museum in Abilene.
"It is an honor to be selected for an award that bears the Bybee name," Montgomery said. "Mrs. Bybee was a true treasure to our country and someone I respected. The work of quilt scholars in uncovering information about the techniques, dyes, designers and makers of quilts fills in important information about the history of our culture and helps us date the quilts to a specific time period. New information is regularly uncovered that adds to the knowledge base. My work has been to lift up this art form and share the stories behind the quilts, primarily of the makers and designers who often go unnoticed."
Montgomery also worked directly with Faith Bybee in 1989 when she worked at the Dallas Museum of Art and Bybee's collection of quilts and textiles came into their museum's collection.
"It was a pleasure to get to know this charming Texan who had educated herself about America's decorative arts," Montgomery said. "We shared a common love of beautiful objects of material culture and, in particular, textiles."
Montgomery has submitted the manuscript for a book on the more than 6,000 pieces of printed cotton feed sacks in the Museum of Texas Tech University's collection and is planning an exhibition of this material in the summer of 2019.