Current Exhibit “Blood Cotton: Legacies of Slavery and Exploitation in the Decorative Textile Industry,” sponsored by the McCarl Family Foundation.

 

 

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Thousands of visitors to the McCarl Gallery have appreciated the beauty and craftsmanship of woven coverlets and the machinery that produced them. Rarely, however, do we stop to consider the high cost, paid in human lives, of 19th century cotton and textile production in the American South and the industry’s dependence on the enslavement of Africans.  Cotton grown in the South fueled the Northern textile mills and the products of those mills were sold within the United States and abroad. Weavers relied on spun cotton thread from these mills and the demand for coverlets and other textiles drove the expansion of Southern slavery. The exhibit will juxtapose the visual magnificence of woven textiles with the inhumane realities of 19th century cotton manufacture. Most of the coverlets chosen for this exhibit were intentionally selected because they have unknown weavers or origins. We chose “unknowns” to reflect the realities of the lives of thousands of unknown men and women whose lives were sacrificed at the expense of the cotton industry and who often remain invisible within the coverlet industry.

Through January, 2018

Hours:

  • Saturdays and Sundays: By appointment depending on staff availability
  • Closed Monday
  • Tuesday to Friday: Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday Evening 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Summer Hours: (Memorial Day to Labor Day): Tuesday to Sunday Noon to 3 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m.