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.

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.

Silk & Leather: Splendid Attire of 19th-Century Central Asia

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 5:00pm

This exhibition featured different types of garments and accessories worn by the ruling class and urban and nomadic elites of the region which today encompasses Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and part of Kazakhstan.

Gods and Empire: Huari Ceremonial Textiles

Friday, July 1, 2005 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 15, 2006 - 5:00pm

This exhibition explored what textile iconography tells us about Huari religious and ceremonial practices and the development of the empire over time.

Textiles for This World and Beyond: Treasures from Insular Southeast Asia

Friday, April 1, 2005 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 18, 2005 - 5:00pm

This exhibition explored the role that textiles in Indonesia and Malaysia play in daily society, and how textiles are used in ceremonies to maintain harmonious relationships with the deceased or the gods.

Beyond the Bag: Textiles as Containers

Friday, January 28, 2005 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 5:00pm

This exhibition celebrated the use of textiles as utilitarian containers and gave visitors an opportunity to investigate the many ways various cultures have exploited the unique properties of textile containers to suit their needs.

A Garden of Shawls: The Buta and Its Seeds

Monday, October 4, 2004 - 10:00am to Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 5:00pm

The natural grace of the gardens of Mughal India was reflected in the patterns of trees, vines, and flowers that decorated textiles of the period.

Floral Perspectives in Carpet Design

Friday, August 27, 2004 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 6, 2005 - 5:00pm

This exhibition examined floral motifs from three perspectives—spiritual, cultural, and artistic—as rendered in the designs of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Indian, Chinese, Central Asian, Persian, and Turkish carpets.

On View

Detail of pillar rug from the museum's collections

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.

For the Record: Picturing D.C.

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

A Collector’s Vision: Treasures from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection

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

Expansive Visions: GW Collection Past, Present, Future

Organized by GW's Luther Brady Art Gallery and presented in the museum's lower-level galleries, this exhibition traces GW's history and evolution as a presenter of contemporary art through highlights from the university collection.