The museum’s collection of quilts and related textiles is the result of the generosity of donors and the farsightedness of curators who shared her sentiment. Begun in 1924 with the accession of a pair of pieced pillowcases, the collection now includes almost two hundred pieces with many styles and techniques of American quiltmaking represented.
The earliest quilts date from about 1800 while the most recent are those made to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1976. Since quiltmaking is such an important Pennsylvania craft, it is fitting that there are many quilts which reveal a particularly Pennsylvanian sensibility. Another strength of the collection is the number and variety of crazy quilts.
A documentation of the quilt collection was completed in 1995. A form developed for this project was used to record physical details about each item in the collection. Information was gathered from museum files, census and genealogical records and local historical societies. The documentation forms, including slides and photographs of each item, are available for study. This web site was created in order to share the beauties of the collection with the widest possible audience.
Explore a small sample of our virtual collection of quilts, tools and more.