Past Exhibitions

Nancy Cohen, "Estuary; Moods and Modes," 2007
Nancy Cohen's "Estuary; Moods and Modes" (2007) was on view in The Textile Museum's "Green: The Color and the Cause" exhibition.

Browse the museum's past exhibitions, inlcuding those held at The Textile Museum's original location in Washington, D.C.'s Kalorama neighborhood. Designed to both present textiles as art, and to place them in their cultural context, Textile Museum exhibitions have primarily showcased its permanent collections, but also featured works from other textile arts drawn from a variety of public and private holdings.



Detail of hanging or curtain

Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt

Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 5:00pm

Bringing together rarely displayed artworks from the fourth to the twelfth centuries, this exhibition revealed how textiles infused warmth and beauty into Egypt’s interior spaces.

Film still of a young boy with a sewing machine

Fast Fashion/Slow Art

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 5:00pm

"Fast Fashion/Slow Art" scrutinized today’s garment industry through eleven films and video installations. Presented at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.

Detail of sheet music showing General McClellan

Songs of the Civil War

Friday, June 14, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 5:00pm

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

Detail of print showing plans for the National Mall

Best Laid Plans: Designs for a Capital City

Friday, June 14, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 22, 2019 - 5:00pm

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

Artist Sonya Clark talks with visitors

Beaded Prayers Project

Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 10:00am to Monday, July 15, 2019 - 5:00pm

Initiated by artist Sonya Clark, this interactive exhibition invited visitors to contribute their own beaded “prayer packets” to a community-driven art installation that celebrates diversity and unity.

Detail of "The Problem We All Live With"

Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 11:00am to Monday, April 29, 2019 - 5:00pm

In this exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings and works by other artists captured expressions of freedom from World War II to today.

Detail of "The Village Monumental"

Eye of the Bird: Visions and Views of D.C.'s Past

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 5:00pm

This exhibition examined the evolution of Washington, D.C., through two new panoramic landscape paintings by local artist Peter Waddell and related works.

Photo of the artist with his work

Faig Ahmed: Nonvisual Language

Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 5:00pm

This intimate exhibition introduced new works and installations by acclaimed Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed.

Kilim detail

A Nomad's Art: Kilims of Anatolia

Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 5:00pm

Woven by women to adorn tents and camel caravans, kilims are enduring records of life in Turkey’s nomadic communities, as well as stunning examples of abstract art.

Detail of postcard

Greetings from Washington

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 5:00pm

This exhibition examined postcards relating to D.C., from their golden age at the turn of the twentieth century through the vintage glamour of mid-century graphics and beyond.

Detail of newspaper

Breaking News: Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 5:00pm

Drawing on historical newspapers from the collection of Antonia M. Chambers, this exhibition highlighted important life events and accomplishments of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Detail of ikat

Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat

Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 10:00am to Monday, July 9, 2018 - 5:00pm

Through the museum’s exceptional ikat collection assembled by Dr. Guido Goldman, this exhibition focused on the art of dyeing known in this region as abrband (binding the clouds).

Detail of jacket in exhibition

Vanishing Traditions: Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China

Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 10:00am to Monday, July 9, 2018 - 5:00pm

This exhibition showcased dozens of festival costumes from minority cultures in southwest China that were gifted to the museum’s collections in 2015.

Detail of photograph from the exhibition

For the Record: Picturing D.C.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 11:00am to Sunday, March 4, 2018 - 5:00pm

Compelling images selected through the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.’s annual juried competition documented the city’s evolving urban landscape through the eyes of local artists.

Detail of Box Project artwork

The Box Project: Uncommon Threads

Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 10:00am to Monday, January 29, 2018 - 5:00pm

For "The Box Project," thirty-six leading fiber artists worldwide were challenged to create a three-dimensional work to fit inside a standard box.

On View

Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen

This exhibition brings together global treasures gathered by Lloyd Cotsen, who assembled thousands of textile fragments, garments, and other artworks over his lifetime.

George Washington and His World

Curated by GW students, this display of letters, prints, and artifacts from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection presents a nuanced look at Washington through the places that shaped him.

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.