On the side streets of New York

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  • Quilt detail. Photo: Tom Arena, Manhattan Sideways.

Woodard & Greenstein — 303 East 81st Street

Before they went into the antique quilt business, Blanche Greenstein was a stylist for photographers and Tom Woodard managed the box office at the Public Theater. During this time, Blanche would travel around the country collecting quilts. She did it as a hobby before Tom joined her. A show by Jonathan Holstein at the Whitney Museum in 1971 provided the catalyst to launch the two friends into business together. Blanche said that the show was called “Abstract Design in American Quilts,” and it demonstrated how old quilts could be fine art. She also mentioned walking by a window on Madison Avenue where the store was using antique quilts as props. She realized that there was a demand for “America’s favorite folk art” and that people were beginning to see the artistic merit of quilts.

To read more, visit Manhattan Sideways (sideways.nyc), created by Betsy Bober Polivy.

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