Anyone who has lived in Oshkosh for a day or two has heard about the remarkable difference one woman made to our community. The late Alberta Kimball is Oshkosh’s philanthropic matriarch. Her daughter, the late Mary Anhaltzer, made every effort to continue her mother’s legacy.
Mary Anhaltzer was committed to issues affecting women and girls. The daughter of the late Miles and Alberta Kimball, Mary was, most recently, the owner of Thirteen Moons Gallery. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Gallery provided a showcase for the work of contemporary quilt artists. A quilter herself, Mary was inspired by trips to Guatemala.
She planned to use proceeds from the Gallery to support Katalysis, an organization that provides loans to help Central American women establish textile businesses. In Oshkosh, she served as a director to the Alberta Kimball Foundation. Mary Anhaltzer died July 20, 2001. Before her death she wrote:
When I began to quilt 24 years ago, I made traditional bed quilts. As I became more confident of my skills I began to work in a more contemporary way. At first, my designs were taken from other artists just as traditional quilts are copied from handed-down patterns. I worried that I would always be a 'copy cat'. But as my ability grew both in technique and composition, I began to develop my own style; my own way of seeing things. Now I am comfortable expressing my ideas and feelings in my quilts.
There is a cycle to my process...passionate spurts of creativity and output separated by what I call my "hunting and gathering" periods. These periods are also a time for processing what is happening in my life. Looking back at a quilt I made last year, I now find more hidden meanings in it. I love having these on-going conversations with my work.
Now my passion for creating art quilts has been culminated in my opening Thirteen Moons Gallery. The works of quilt artists from coast to coast will be showcased and the profit will be used to help women in New Mexico and Central America with their textile art businesses. These connections feel wonderful and I know they will influence my work and my life.
Mary Anhaltzer cared deeply about women’s issues.