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.”

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


Close up detail of free lace with floral and leaf motifs in whole and half stitches. The motifs are joined by plaiting with picots.

Lace Exhibit – Sweeney Collection
February 6 – May 10


(608) 262-1162