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.



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.

Over One, Under One, and Much More...

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 2, 2005 - 5:00pm

This exhibition explored the diversity of patterning achieved in plain-woven textiles from Asia to the Americas.

Timeless Connections: Exploring Tapestry Weave

Friday, April 16, 2004 - 10:00am to Sunday, August 1, 2004 - 5:00pm

With objects drawn from the museum's collections, this exhibition provided a broad historical and cultural context for the concept of tapestry weave.

Draped, Wrapped, and Folded: Untailored Clothing

Friday, January 30, 2004 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 6, 2004 - 5:00pm

This exhibition highlighted a unique blend of complexity and simplicity in a showcase of nineteen untailored garments from Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Navajo Blankets of the 19th Century: Selections from The Textile Museum Collections

Friday, September 5, 2003 - 10:00am to Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 5:00pm

Featuring sixteen blankets made between 1800 and 1890, this exhibition highlighted the powerful aesthetics and significant trends that characterize nineteenth century Navajo weaving.

The Art of Resist Dyeing

Saturday, July 5, 2003 - 10:00am to Saturday, January 3, 2004 - 5:00pm

This exhibition, drawn exclusively from The Textile Museum's collections, focused on how textiles from many cultures across the globe are patterned by the process of resist dyeing.

Hold It: Textiles as Containers

Friday, January 31, 2003 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 8, 2003 - 5:00pm

Drawn exclusively from The Textile Museum's collections, "Hold It" celebrated the use of textiles as containers.

Mamluk Rugs from Egypt: Jewels of The Textile Museum's Collection

Friday, January 31, 2003 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 8, 2003 - 5:00pm

A stunning display of one of the most significant groups of classical carpets, this exhibition highlighted one of the great strengths of The Textile Museum's collections.

The Classical Tradition in Anatolian Carpets

Friday, September 13, 2002 - 10:00am to Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 5:00pm

This exhibition provided a unique opportunity to explore the artistry of Turkish pile carpets.

Secrets of Silk

Friday, June 28, 2002 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 5, 2003 - 5:00pm

This exhibition explored the production and use of one of the world's most luxurious fibers.

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.