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.

Fabrics of Feathers and Steel: The Innovation of Nuno

Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 10:00am to Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 5:00pm

The exhibition featured eighteen examples of the Nuno studio's innovative and influential fabrics, dating from the time of the company’s founding in 1984 to the present.

A Lady Found a Culture in its Cloth: Barack Obama's Mother and Indonesian Batiks

Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 10:00am to Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 5:00pm

For two weeks, textiles from the collection of Ann Dunham, President Obama's mother, were view at The Textile Museum.

Constructed Color: Amish Quilts

Saturday, April 4, 2009 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 6, 2009 - 5:00pm

Amish quilts are among the most striking and famous of all American quilt types.

Recent Acquisitions

Friday, March 6, 2009 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 5:00pm

In the past eight decades, The Textile Museum’s collections have grown from a modest group of 275 rugs and 60 related textiles to nearly 18,000 objects from around the world.

Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas

Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 10:00am to Sunday, March 8, 2009 - 5:00pm

The exhibition told the story of the people who made the textiles, the ways they lived and worked, and the functions of their weavings.


Friday, April 4, 2008 - 10:00am to Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 5:00pm

The human perception of color is a complex sensory phenomenon filtered through the eyes, brain, language, and multiple layers of social experience.

The Finishing Touch: Accessories from the Bolivian Highlands

Friday, February 15, 2008 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 5:00pm

In 2007, The Textile Museum acquired a large group of charming accessories from the Bolivian highlands.

Private Pleasures: Collecting Contemporary Textile Art

Friday, September 28, 2007 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 5:00pm

Collecting has played a central role in the shaping of art history as a discipline.

Textiles of Klimt's Vienna

Friday, August 3, 2007 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 6, 2008 - 5:00pm

Vienna was a center of creative activity between 1897 and 1932 with the emergence of the Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte.

Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia

Friday, March 30, 2007 - 10:00am to Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 5:00pm

This exhibition highlighted elaborately decorated tent bands made by different Central Asian ethnic groups, including Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Kazakh.


Friday, February 2, 2007 - 10:00am to Sunday, July 8, 2007 - 5:00pm

RED explored the complex uses and meanings of red in textiles across time and place through twenty-one varied textiles from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Mandalay to Chittagong

Friday, October 13, 2006 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 5:00pm

Mantles of Merit was the first major exhibition devoted to the sophisticated textiles from the Chin peoples, an ethnic minority group in western Myanmar, northeastern India, and eastern Bangladesh.

Harpies, Mermaids, and Tulips: Embroidery of the Greek Islands and Epirus Region

Friday, March 17, 2006 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 3, 2006 - 5:00pm

This exhibition included approximately seventy embroidered textiles created between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries for bridal trousseaux and domestic life.

Seldom Seen: Director's Choice from the Museum's Collections

Friday, February 10, 2006 - 10:00am to Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 5:00pm

Seldom Seen: Director's Choice from the Museum's Collections presented Director Daniel Walker's selection of twenty-eight textiles from The Textile Museum's permanent holdings.

Rozome Masters of Japan

Friday, October 14, 2005 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 12, 2006 - 5:00pm

This exhibition featured the work of fifteen contemporary Japanese artists and included folding screens, scrolls, panels, and kimono all created using rozome, a wax-resist dyeing technique unique to Japan.

On View

A Nomad's Art: Kilims of Anatolia

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.

Faig Ahmed: Nonvisual Language

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

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.

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

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

Detail of artwork by Vernal Bogren Swift

Selections from The Textile Museum Collections

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

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.