Behind Rosie Lee Wilkins: MSU Professor Presents Key to Conducting Historical Research

Piecing together the history of Rosie Lee Wilkins takes a little more than a Google search. MSU Professor Marsha MacDowell shows viewers just how the historical research on the Muskegon quilter was conducted during an online presentation titled Rosie Lee Wilkins and African American Quilt Research, hosted by the Lakeshore Museum Center. Wednesday, February 24 at 6 pm, the Professor of Art & Art History and Curator of Folk Arts & Quilt Studies at Michigan State University Museum will demonstrate how to uncover history, and will teach viewers to do the same.

“Our virtual presentation delves into the investigation of Rosie’s life,” said Museum Experiences Director Jacquelyn Huss. “With limited written accounts, it takes a clever mind to uncover the truth. The process of finding the facts can be just as interesting as the historic figures themselves.”

In addition to research, Professor MacDowell will review free databases such as The Quilt Index and, websites showcasing quilt artists and quilt making tradition around the world. From pre-internet investigations to modern tools, Professor MacDowell unravels the mystery of quilting history.

Interested persons can RSVP on Eventbrite for free. Donations are appreciated. After signing up, participants will receive a Zoom link the week of the event. For questions, please call the museum at 231.722.0278.

About Lakeshore Museum Center
Since 1937, the Lakeshore Museum Center has explored, preserved, and interpreted the history of Muskegon County through historic exhibits, education and cultural-based programs, and special events and presentations for all ages. The Center is comprised of multiple sites and buildings including the Hackley & Hume Historic Site, the Fire Barn Museum, the Scolnik House of the Depression Era and the Muskegon Heritage Museum.

About Marsha MacDowell
Marsha MacDowell received her B.F.A, M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She has been employed as a curator at the Michigan State University Museum since 1977. There, in addition to her curatorial activities, she has served as coordinator of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program and as the founding director of the Great Lakes Folk Festival.