Sourcing the Museum

The word “museum” derives from the ancient Greek mouseion—"temple of the Muses"—home of goddesses believed to inspire creativity. The Textile Museum’s permanent collections provided the source of creative inspiration for eleven contemporary artists.

Invited to participate by renowned textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen, the artists explored the The Textile Museum’s historically and culturally varied collections and chose pieces to inspire new artworks. The historical textiles highlight the wide scope of the museum’s collections, ranging from rare Pre-Columbian and late Roman weavings to Japanese kimono and Central Asian ikats. Displayed side-by-side with their historical muses, the contemporary textiles reflect the connections between past and present.

Diverse in background, preferred technique, and aesthetic, but all at the height of their careers, the invited artists include Olga de Amaral, James Bassler, Polly Barton, Archie Brennan, Lia Cook, Helena Hernmarck, Ayako Nikamoto, Jon Eric Riis, Warren Seelig, Kay Sekimachi, and Ethel Stein. Read the gallery guide.