Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection

Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery

One of A Kind Ahead of Her Time:
The Legacy of Helen Louise Allen

January 27 – April 18, 2019

Guest curated by Lynn K. Mecklenburg, the inaugural exhibition of the textile gallery showcases collection pieces representing the travels of Professor Helen Louise Allen (1902-1968). The exhibition is on view in conjunction with the Ruth Davis Design Gallery show from Applique to Zardozi: An Anniversary Sampler.

Coming Soon

A Diverse Continent: African Textiles in Context

May 9, 2019 to July 26, 2019

Basket from East Africa

This showcase of 36 textiles from 18 countries represents the diversity of African culture and textile-making traditions.

Textiles from Africa are as varied as the continent itself. Materials ranging from raffia palm fiber and silk to recycled wire are expertly woven, knit, knotted, plaited, embroidered, beaded, stamped, painted, and dyed to create a staggering variety of textiles. A Diverse Continent features two dozen unique textile-making traditions from across Africa, encapsulating one facet of the continent’s staggering diversity.

A Diverse Continent, developed with the support of Sandy and Jack Winder, is the second exhibition planned for the newly opened Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery. The Gallery is a permanent space dedicated to year-round, rotating displays of textiles and clothing from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.

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 until 7pm)
Sat – Sun, Noon – 4pm
Free admission


1300 Linden Dr., Madison
See parking here


Email: hlatc@sohe.wisc.edu
Phone: (608) 262-1162


Dragon textile detail

Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas
September 5 – December 6
Guest curated by Jane and David C. Villa