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).

Allen had a lifelong passion for handwork and the creative crafts. In 2019, she would thrive in society’s revitalization of the artisanal, the handmade, and the original. One of A Kind Ahead of Her Time invites gallery goers to consider the woman, the collector, and the educator who looked at textiles as carriers of human culture, a thought that remains relevant in today’s diverse and globalized world.

The exhibition is on view in conjunction with the Ruth Davis Design Gallery show from Applique to Zardozi: An Anniversary Sampler.

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


Dragon textile detailA Diverse Continent: African Textiles in Context
May 9 – July 26
Guest curated by Sandra C. and Jack W. Winder

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