Lowell is uniquely suited for the Quilt Museum as the historic center of the nation's textile industry as well as the site of the first urban National Park celebrating that history. Since the New England Quilt Museum opened its doors in 1987, it has worked to present the finest examples of traditional and contemporary quilts.
The museum collection today includes over 225 antique and contemporary quilts and tops, plus numerous related textile and sewing items, representing the history of American quiltmaking. The museum's first acquisition, commissioned by the New England Quilters Guild for New England Images I, was "Archipelago", a contemporary work made in 1983 by Nancy Halpern. In 1986, a second contemporary piece was commissioned by the Guild; "Bloodroot", made by Ruth McDowell, a two-sided, three-dimensional quilt that was ground breaking in both concept and execution. During the first four years of the museum's operations the number of acquisitions ranged from 8 to 19 antique quilts per year. The museum also collected quilt-related items: patterns, quilt tops and squares, sewing machines, and educational materials.
Analyze the economic impact of the New England Quilt Museum
Location of New England Quilt Museum members with overlay of US Census variables on an interactive map