Joe Cunningham has been a professional quilt artist since 1979. He has written essays on the subject for museum catalogues, books and magazines. His book, “Men and the Art of Quiltmaking” was the first book on its subject. In 2004 he received a $30,000 Shulte Grant from the Fort Mason Foundation. In 2009 he received a grant to study with the Gees Bend quilters in Alabama. In 2010 he was artist in residence at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, which purchased one of his quilts for its permanent collection. Joe travels throughout the country to give lectures and workshops on quiltmaking. His ten books on quiltmaking include the first biography of a living quilter, the first book on men who make quilts ("Men and the Art of Quiltmaking,") and a definitive book on marking quilts for quilting called “Quilting with Style,” published by AQS. He has been seen on the Peabody Award-winning PBS series Craft in America, the HGTV series “Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson,” as well as “The Quilt Show” with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, and others. Cunningham has performed his musical quilt show, “Joe the Quilter,” for guilds and theaters nationwide. His latest book is "Man Made Quilts: Civil War to the Present," a catalogue for the show of the same name at the Shelburne Museum. His quilts are in the permanent collections of the DeYoung museum, The Shelburne Museum, The Newark Museum, The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and many private collections.
Joe Cunningham has been invited to give lectures in museums and colleges including the DeYoung Museum, University of Michigan, the Chicago Art Institute, the Shelburne Museum, and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, The National Quilt Museum and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.
2018 “Specters of Disruption” De Young Museum, San Francisco, Aug. 2018-Apr. 2019
2018 "We Quilt This City" Solo show, pod Office, San Francisco, May-June
2017 "Original Quilts," Solo show, GFAC Gallery, Flint, MI, September-October
2016 "Beyond Quilts," Solo show, 108 Contemporary, Tulsa, OK, April1-May 22
2016 "Man Made," International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Lincoln, NE
2016 "Figuratively" Solo show CCCAC Gallery, Hancock, MI, February 1-29
2016 "Recent Work" Solo show, Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 1-29
2015 "Found/Made" San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
2015 "Joe Cunningham: A Life in Quilts" Solo show, Vermont Quilt Festival
2015 Quilt Visions – American Modern Quilt Art, Oulu Museum of Art, Oulu, Finland
2015 "A Common Thread" San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
2015 "Man Made" Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, LA, CA
2014-15 Muzeo Invitational, Anaheim, CA
2014 Solo Exhibition 425 California, San Francisco
2014 4 Quilt Artists, Wheeling Artisans Center, Wheeling,WV Jan.
2013 Cerberus at Buggenheon, Gallery 60SIX, San Francisco, Nov-Dec.
2012 Altered Landscapes, Workspace, San Francisco, Sept.
2012 Man Made Quilts: Civil War to the Present, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT May 13-Oct 28
2012 Modern Musings: Craft in America Study Center, Los angeles, March 31-June 2
2012 ART | QUILT 455 Market, San Francisco, Jan-March
2011 Scrap ART San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Oct, 2011
2011 Quilts by Men, Copper Shade Tree, Round Top, TX, Oct-Nov, 2011
2011 Reiterate, Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI, Sept, 2011
2010 Men and the Art of Quiltmaking, Iowa Convention Center, Des Moines, IA, Oct
2010 De Young Museum, San Francisco, Artist in Residence March 1-31
2010 A Family of Quilts, National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY
2010 Wranglers Among Us, 10th Biennial Men’s Quilt Exhibit , Rocky Mtn Quilt Museum, Golden, CO
2009 Draw the Line: New Quilts by Joe Cunningham, California Street Studios Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009 Fall Into Fabrics, San Francisco Design Center Showplace
2007 Saturn Returns@ San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA
2007 Old and New Quilts from Ancient and Modern Cities @Mitsukoshi Department Store, Nihonbashi, Tokyo
2005 Men of Biblical Proportion@Houston Int. Quilt Festival, George R Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX, Oct 22-24.
2004 The Life of a Quilt@Herbst International Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, CA. Solo show. June- -August, 2004.
2004 Return of the Quilts@Sanchez Street Studios, San Francisco, CA. Solo
show. December, 2003-June, 2004.
2003 Man Made@Museum of the American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY,
March 15-July 12.
2003 Symphony of Color@Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA,
March 22-23. (Featured Quilter with 10 quilts.)
2002 Honoring the Tradition@Johnson Humerick House Museum, Coshocton,
OH, May 4-August 8.
2002 Joe the Quilter: 1752-2002@The Branson School Art Gallery, Ross, CA,
April 8-May 1.
1999 A Look Back@New Pieces Gallery, Berkeley, CA
November 1-November 30.
1998 Patterns of Progress: Quilts in the Machine Age@Autry Museum of
Western Heritage, LA, CA, July-December.
1993 New Quilts by Joe Cunningham@Warren Town Hall, Warren, Vermont,
July 1-July 30.
1990 Recent Work by Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham@New England
Quilt Museum, Lowell, Mass., April-July.
1989 Quilts by Marston and Cunningham@Muskegon Museum of Art,
Muskegon, Michigan, March-July.
1985 Quilts by Marston and Cunningham@Tamarack Craftsmen Gallery,
Omena, Michigan, summer, 1985.
1983 New Traditions@University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan
1982 Quilts@Mountain Artisans Gallery, Boston, Mass,
Cunningham, Joe, and Burks, Jean M. “Man Made Quilts: Civil War to the Present” Shelburne Museum, Inc, Shelburne, VT, 2012
Cunningham, Joe, “Men and the Art of Quiltmaking” AQS, Paducah, KY, 2010
Cunningham, Joe, “Biased and Edgy,” The Quilt Life, October, 2010
AQS, Paducah, KY. pgs 74-75 (ongoing column, in every issue of The Quilt Life)
Cunningham, Joe, Robert Shaw and Janneken Smucker.
"Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and
Stephen Brown," Catalogue for the exhibition at the deYoung
Museum, San Francisco, CA, Pomegranate Publications,
Cunningham, Joe. “Rough and Ready”, American Quilter
Magazine, September, 2008, AQS, Paducah, KY
Cunningham, Joe. “Joe the Quilter”, Quilters Newsletter
Magazine, July/August, 2008, CK Media, Golden, CO.
Cunningham, Joe. “Signed, Dated, No Longer Unknown”, Quilters Newsletter
Magazine, December, 2003, Primedia, Golden, CO.
Cunningham, Joe. “A Flowering of Quilts”, (book review of “A Flowering of Quilts”,
Patricia Cox Crews, ed.) Great Plains Quarterly, Summer,
2002, Vol. 22 No. 3, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, pgs 226-227.
Cunningham, Joe and Granick, Eve Wheatcroft. “Amish Quilts 1880-1940”,
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI 2000.
Cunningham, Joe and others, Jane Townswick, ed. “Choosing Quilting Designs”,
Rodale, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 2001.
Cunningham, Joe. “Lessons from a Turn of the Century Quilt”, Threads, Dec/Jan,
2002, The Taunton Press, Newtown, CT., pgs 46-50.
Cunningham, Joe. “Signed, Dated, and Still Unknown”, Quilters Newsletter
Magazine, December, 2001, Primedia, Golden, CO. pgs 48-49.
Cunningham, Joe. “Quilt It Freehand”, Threads, Oct/Nov, 1997, The Taunton Press,
Newtown, CT., pgs 49-54.
Cunningham, Joe. “On Being a Man in the Quilt World”, Quilting Today, June, 1996
Chitra Publications, Montrose, PA.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “Quilting With Style”, American Quilters Society,
Paducah, KY, 1993.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “Mary Schafer and Her Quilts”, Michigan State
University Museum, East Lansing, MI, 1990.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “American Beauties:Rose and Tulip Quilts”,
American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY, 1988.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “Classic Quilting Designs”, Dover Publications,
Inc., NY, NY 1987.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “Sets and Borders”, American Quilters Society,
Paducah, KY, 1986.
Cunningham, Joe and Gwen Marston. “Amish Quilting Designs”, Dover Publications,
Inc., NY, NY 1986.
Craft in America: Industry http://www.craftinamerica.org/press/story_2308.php
The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, internet TV show: always available @ www.thequiltshow.com, episode 101
Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson, “Amish Quilting Designs”, HGTV SERIES # 620
Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson, “Freehand Quilting”, HGTV SERIES