Profile: Lola Pettway (1941-)

Lola Pettway is an American artist. She is associated with the Gee’s Bend quilting collective, along with her mother, Allie Pettway. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Frist Art Museum, and is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Life

From a long line of quilters, Lola’s grandmother was Henrietta Pettway and her mother was Allie Pettway. Her father was John the Baptist Pettway. 

She was raised alongside nine sisters and four brothers. She began taking on family responsibilities at a young age. She began cooking at nine, working in the fields at ten, and quilting around the same age. She was very competitive with her older brother, Ebenezer: “…if he picked two hundred pounds, I’d pick two hundred, too.”

Lola married and raised twelve children. 

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