Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection

Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery

Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas


September 5 – December 6, 2019 | Guest curated by Jane and David C. Villa

Indigenous scholars Kendra Greendeer (Ho-Chunk) and Dakota Mace (Diné) co-curate an exhibition exploring material interrelationships among cultures with long histories of exchange throughout the Americas.

From the Andes to the Great Lakes, textiles reflect many cultural narratives of community and tradition. This exhibition analyzes select textiles from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and the Little Eagle Arts Foundation, a Ho-Chunk arts organization, to provide a deeper understanding of the lifeways, movement, and stories these objects embodied. It is through these points of intersection that scholars may trace the interrelations of Native cultural practices and oral traditions throughout the western hemisphere and spanning more than a thousand years of history

Greendeer and Mace reflected on the show: “As Indigenous curators, we felt that it was important to create an exhibition that came from an Indigenous perspective. We wanted to provide a new window to recognize and acknowledge the complexity and interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples through textiles.”

Event Schedule

October 4 | MMoCA Gallery Night: Both the Ruth Davis Design Gallery and Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery will host extended hours as part of the annual Gallery Night. From 5:00-9:00 PM., stop by for flash tours with curators, artists, and gallery staff.

October 25 | Weaving Workshop: Join Ho-Chunk artist Bonnie Bird and the Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) for a discussion and lecture on the history of finger-woven bags as well as other traditional woven art forms made by the Ho-Chunk of Wisconsin. There will also be a finger-weaving workshop focusing on techniques as well as design. 10:00 AM-1:00 PM. REGISTRATION LIMITED, $50 per personCLICK HERE to reserve your spot

November 7 | Points of Departure Artist Panel: Contributors to the Points of Departure show Maggie Sasso, Teresa Faris, and Yevgeniya Kaganovich discuss their work and experience as activist women artists. 7pm to 8pm, Room 2235.

  • Maggie Sasso produces conceptual bodies of work that express macrocosmic ideas through microcosmic detail, examines the role of material culture in relationship to our collective past.
  • Teresa Faris’ work explores the notion of advantage and disadvantage that, adjacently, resides within all beings. Privilege comes in many forms ranging from skin/eye color, physical and mental ability to class, status and power.
  • Yevgeniya Kaganovich is a Milwaukee-based artist, whose hybrid practice encompasses Jewelry and Metalsmithing, sculpture and installation.

November 14 | Printmaking Workshop: UW Indigenous art faculty John Hitchcock and Points of Departure artist Jason Ruhl discuss their respective inspirations and processes as John lead a workshop on screen-printing with Fresh Hot Press, the UW-Madison print club. Indigenous print-maker John Hitchcock uses the print medium of screen-printing with its long history of social and political commentary to explore relationships of community, land, and culture. Jason Ruhl is a Madison-based artist who predominantly works in print-based media, taking fragmented pieces of graphic ephemera and reworking them into simplified, enigmatic images. 5pm-7pm in the Link.

November 22 | Elder-in-Residence Storytelling: American Indian Studies Elder-in-Residence Mary Louise Defender Wilson, will lead a storytelling event with the SoHE Child Development Lab. Family-friendly event. Friday, November 22nd at 10:00-11:00 AM

Mary Louise Defender Wilson also known by her Dakotah name Wagmuhawin (Gourd Woman), is a storyteller, traditionalist, historian, scholar and educator of the Dakotah/Hidatsa people and a cultural director working in health care organizations.

“In telling my stories, I help to restore a sense of pride and respect for our young people.” — Mary Louise Defender Wilson

Intersections was developed with the generous support of honorary curators Jane and David C. Villa as part of a series of exhibitions celebrating the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection’s 50th Anniversary.


About the Collection Over the past half century, the collection has grown from an original 4,000-piece gift to more than 13,000 objects that have inspired and informed thousands of students, researchers, historians, and textile aficionados. The new Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery is a permanent space dedicated to year-round displays of the collection.


Wed & Fri 10am-4pm
Thurs 10am-7pm
Sat-Sun 12-4pm


1300 Linden Drive,
Madison, WI 53706
Parking info


Unpacked Refugee Baggage exhibition main image

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage
February 5 – May 15


(608) 262-1162