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Delia Bennett

"Housetop"—Fractured-Medallion variation (detail), c. 1955

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About the Artwork

Delia Bennett (1892–1976), "Housetop"—Fractured-Medallion variation (detail), c. 1955

Cotton, 79 x 79 in.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Delia Bennett was the matriarch of an extended family of quiltmakers that includes her daughters Creola B. Pettway, Georgiana Pettway, and Ella Mae Irby. Her granddaughters Mary L. Bennett, Linda Diane Bennett, Stella Mae Pettway, Marlene Bennett, and many others continued the tradition. Perhaps Delia's most engaging quilt is a "Housetop" variation some call "Pig in a Pen," pieced mainly from wonderfully mismatched pale pink, brown, and deep green fabrics. The jarring chromatic disjunctions are reinforced by the fact that the concentric strips are sometimes aligned and sometimes not.

about the artist

Delia Bennett (1892 - 1976) was the matriarch of an extended family of quiltmakers that included her daughters Creola Bennett Pettway, Georgiana Pettway, and Ella Mae Irby. Quiltmakers in Gee’s Bend typically design their own quilts and eschew printed patterns. Delia’s daughter, Creola, describes her mother’s and her own design abilities in just those terms:

She had it in her head, so that’s why we don’t use patterns. I don't use patterns. When I get ready to make me a quilt, I just get me some cloth and start sewing. We had the pattern in our head, and that was the best. My mother had the quilt in her head. She didn't use no pattern. She used her brains!

The “Housetop” form has always been one of the Bennett family’s preferred quilt forms, and the emphatic and wildly asymmetrical geometries of Delia’s designs continue to echo in the quilts of her granddaughters Mary L. Bennett and Marlene Bennett Jones.

Delia Bennett’s work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Learn more about Delia Bennett here.

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About Our Prints


Souls Grown Deep Custom Prints offers custom reproductions of artworks by Souls Grown Deep artists. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery.