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News & Events

Upcoming Gallery Exhibition: “Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas”

The Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery at the School of Human Ecology at UW–Madison will celebrate the history and diversity of American Indigenous weavings September 5–December 6, 2019.

For immediate release | July 22, 2019 | Madison, WI

Contact: Serena Larkin, serena.larkin@wisc.edu or 608-890-3970

Anchor image advertising Intersections exhibit at SoHE fall 2019The Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery is pleased to present Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas, an exhibition co-curated by Indigenous scholars Kendra Greendeer (Ho-Chunk) and Dakota Mace (Diné). The exhibition, to run September 5 through December 6, 2019, will bring together textiles of several Indigenous groups to explore material interrelationships among Indigenous cultures that have long engaged in intricate networks 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. To learn more, including about yet-to-be-announced special events related to the exhibition, visit sohe.wisc.edu/intersections or sign up to receive the latest gallery news and events by email.

View and download high-resolution images of select items featured in the exhibition here.


The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection advances understanding of cultures and their history through engagement with textiles for the creative, technical, and educational benefit of scholars from the University and beyond. It is a teaching collection, with over 13,000 textile artifacts spanning 16 centuries and 108 countries.

The Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery, which is the Collection’s newly built permanent space for displaying textiles and clothing, will be open Wednesday–Friday, 10 am–4 pm (Thursdays until 7 pm), and Saturday–Sunday, 12 pm–4 pm beginning August 3 (reduced summer hours are posted online). Admission is free.

The Little Eagle Arts Foundation (LEAF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting American Indian art by cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit of American Indian/First Nations artists in order to achieve success and promote a cycle of economic security in Indian Country.

The School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison was founded in 1903. For over a century, it has promoted real-world, problem-solving research and teaching to improve the quality of life for children, families, consumers, and communities.