One defendant dismissed in quilt lawsuit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Two folk artists suing the company that made them nationally known have agreed to drop their complaint against one of the defendants.

On Monday,

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a complaint against Paul Arnett was dropped by Gee’s Bend artists

Loretta Pettway and Annie Mae Young.

Paul Arnett is the son of Matt Arnett, both of Tinwood Ventures of Georgia that took the quilters and made them household names among the wealthy, who purchase folk art.

The women claim in their lawsuit filed in federal court they were exploited, and Tinwood and the Arnetts underpaid them for their quilting work.

Paul Arnett contended he didn’t have business interests with the women and they only met in social situations. He never bought or sold a quilt.

The women have asked the courts to prevent Tinwood and Matt Arnett from making a living off their work and to pay them what their work is worth.

Arnett has contended the community of Gee’s Bend is to receive royalties from the commercialization of the art and the women are part of a collective to sell the quilts themselves. The quilts have been shown at museums the world over and have sold for as much as $20,000.

Gee’s Bend is a community of less than 1,000 people, most who are descendants of slaves.