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 robe, Central Asia

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats

Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 10:00am to Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 5:00pm

This exhibition featured the late Murad Megalli's collection of nearly 200 spectacular nineteenth-century ikats, generously donated to The Textile Museum.

Lucienne Day, "Helix," 1974

Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain

Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 5:00pm

This exhibition showcased the work of three groundbreaking women designers, who transformed the art of textile design in Britain after World War II.

The Art of Living: Textile Furnishings from the Permanent Collection

Friday, February 12, 2010 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 9, 2011 - 8:34pm

"The Art of Living" highlighted the historical and cultural breadth of The Textile Museum's collections through the display of textile furnishings made in societies ranging from the late Roman Empire and colonial Peru to Edo-period Japan and Victorian Britain.

Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection

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

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese designers Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto shocked the fashion world by introducing avant-garde styles that challenged received Western notions

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.

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.