History

The collection at the heart of the Textiles and Clothing Museum began in 1923 as a teaching tool. Now numbering over 9,500 items, it is a unique and irreplaceable record of the material culture and history of different societies, cultures, and time periods. Dating from the late Roman period through present day, it represents international fashion trends, everyday wear of Midwesterners and a great diversity of ethnic traditions in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Morrill Hall

The museum is located in Morrill Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus. The Morrill Hall renovation was completed in 2007 and a re-dedication ceremony held April 20th. It is the first example of sustainable building on Iowa State University’s campus. Located within the museum are:

  • The Mary Alice Gallery, named in honor of alumna Mary Alice Anderson Reinhardt
  • The Donna Rae Danielson Textile Conservation Laboratory
  • The Waldee Storage Facility named in honor of Bertha and Edward Waldee.

Textiles and Clothing Museum Collection

The Historic Costume and Textile Collection began in 1923 as a teaching tool for the Department of Textiles and Clothing.  The early involvement of faculty shaped the collection’s dual focus on ethnic textiles and pragmatic examples of everyday dress. When the Textiles and Clothing Museum opened in 2007, the name was retained as a reference to the former department. The collection still operates as a teaching program within the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program of the Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management. It includes over 9,500 examples of historic and ethnic dress, accessories, and textiles.