Lancaster Quilt & Textile Museum in Lancaster, PA
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It is the story of these unique people and their textile traditions that the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum seeks to tell through the fabrics that have been used through the ages, while also educating visitors about the variety and versatility this relatively unknown craft has to offer.
The permanent exhibit at the museum, which was also the inspiration behind the establishment of the center, is the Esprit Collection. This collection is renowned as one of the oldest and finest of its kind and is comprised of over 82 astounding quilts. The collection was acquired by the museum from its former proprietor Doug Tompkins.
An amalgamation of this collection along with many others make this museum the proud owner of the largest quilt and textile collections in the world.
The museum also houses a number of temporary exhibits like Rags to Rugs which displays samples of Pennsylvanian hooked and hand-sewn rugs put together by Trish Herr and Leslie Gorbey and is aimed at educating visitors about the various functions of these rugs.
The Lancaster Christmas Exhibition takes visitors on a walk down memory lane with representations of Christmas celebrations in the years between the late 1850s and the 1970s.
The Lancaster Textile and Quilt Museum also conducts various workshops in conjunction with its sister concern, the Heritage Center, such as the Quilting Across the Curriculum workshop where educators can learn to incorporate quilts into their lessons.
At the end of your self-guided tour, don't forget to make a stop at the Museum Shop to look at the memorabilia-like reproductions of the classic quilts displayed in the museum, reading material about quilting and other textiles, and do-it-yourself kits where you can learn and master crafts like embroidery and rug hooking.
The museum building itself has a quaint story behind it. The lavish Beaux-Arts structure was originally designed as a bank and was later taken over by the museum after it failed during the Great Depression.
You can visit the museum from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 5 pm to 9 pm on First Fridays.
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