Bill Volckening calls himself a quilt magnet. He has an uncanny ability to find great quilts. When Bill bought his first quilt in 1989, he did not intend to become a quilt collector. He just wanted one quilt for a wall display. Soon, he realized the quilt was too old and valuable to hang year-round, so he found another quilt and planned to rotate the two. For the next twenty years, collecting quilts was Bill’s hobby. He would buy quilts as his décor changed, but nobody knew about the collection except close friends and family.
In 2009, Bill showed his collection of New York Beauties to a local quilt study group, and the quilt history enthusiasts gave him a new perspective on his collection. It was something more. He made an effort to share the quilts from that point forward, and it led to many opportunities—exhibitions and publications around the globe.
Bill’s award-winning blog Wonkyworld reveals the process of collecting from the perspective of a twenty-first century collector. It is about the thrill of the hunt and the bounty and is the ever-unfolding story of his quilt journey. In addition to the quilt collection, Bill has an extensive library with many rare titles and signed editions, a small ephemera collection, and a wonderful network of people with specialized knowledge about all things quilt-related.
Bill studied at Rhode Island School of Design (1984-86), School of Visual Arts (BFA 1988), and was part of a select graduate program at New York University and the International Center of Photography (MA 1991). He is an award-winning photographer and quiltmaker, and his work has been published globally. Quilts from The Volckening Collection have been exhibited from New York to Tokyo and have appeared in various publications worldwide.