Rosie Lee Tompkins is a pseudonym for Effie Mae Martin - Howard (September 9, 1936-December 1, 2006) who was born and raised in rural Gould, Arkansas.  

Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective


Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work to date, featuring approximately seventy quilts, pieced tops, embroideries, assemblages, and decorated objects. It reveals Tompkins to be an artist of extraordinary variety, depth, and impact.

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Rosie Lee Tompkins


The seven artworks included in the exhibition date from 1974 to 2006, the year of Tompkins’ death. The show coincides with a retrospective of Tompkins’ work at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and includes a newly commissioned essay by Lawrence Rinder, the former director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and a longtime champion of Tompkins.

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African American improvisational quilt-making is an innovative branch of a medium that reaches back to African textiles and continues to thrive.

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Rosie Lee Tompkins: Quilter Extraordinaire with Arkansas Roots

Tompkins was the pseudonym of Effie Mae Howard (nee Martin), who was born in 1936 in Gould (Lincoln County) and learned quilting from her mother. An entry on Tompkins in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas notes that she believed that God designed her patchwork.

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Encyclopedia of Arkansas: Rosie Lee Tompkins

Rosie Lee Tompkins was the assumed name of Effie Mae Howard, a widely acclaimed African-American quiltmaker whose prodigious talents catapulted her to the forefront of contemporary art. As New York Times critic Roberta Smith put it, “Tompkins’s textile art [works]…demolish the category.”

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Never-before-seen quilts by Rosie Lee Tompkins come to Anthony Meier Fine Arts

Renowned East Bay artist Rosie Lee Tompkins was considered one of the greatest quilt makers of all time. “In the still-unfolding field of African-American quilt-making, she has no equal,” critic Roberta Smith wrote of Tompkins.

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Any use of Rosie Lee Tompkins photos and art work without the written consent is subject to legal action.