Collections

Illustration of 19th-century Washington, D.C.

When not on view in the museum's current exhibitions, the museum's collections are stored offsite at the Avenir Foundation Conservation and Collections Resource Center. Explore highlights from these diverse collections online.

The Textile Museum Collection

The Textile Museum’s highly regarded collection of more than 21,000 handmade textiles and carpets from Middle Eastern, Asian, African, and indigenous American cultures represents five thousand years of humankind’s creative achievements in the textile arts. The 20,000-volume Arthur D. Jenkins Library is a leading resource for the study of textiles.

The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection

The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection documents the formation, development, and history of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. It includes more than 1,900 remarkable maps, prints, rare letters, newspapers, photographs, and drawings, as well as an extensive reference library.

On View

Best Laid Plans: Designs for a Capital City

This exhibition examines unrealized designs for the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge, and other structures around the city, through historical prints and paintings from the collection.

Songs of the Civil War

This exhibition showcases historical sheet music that provided the soundtrack to a nation divided by war.

Detail of Peruvian tunic

Selections from The Textile Museum Collection

You can always find a rotating selection of objects from The Textile Museum Collection on view in the museum's lower-level galleries, including many objects that have rarely or never before been displayed.

Treasures from the Albert H. Small Collection

A selection of maps, letters, prints, and artifacts on display from the museum’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection includes recent acquisitions and rare treasures.

Textiles 101

Interactive displays allow you to enter the mind of an artist to explore fiber, structure, color, and the creative choices that influence textile design.

Rights and Reproductions

If you are interested in requesting images of works in the museum's collections for publication, contact [email protected].