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Posted on: April 26, 2016

Springfield Art Museum to Open Textile Arts Exhibition



Springfield, MO. (April 26, 2016) - The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to present its third special exhibition of 2016, “String Theory: Textiles From The Permanent Collection” on Saturday, April 30th. “String Theory” examines the materials, methods, and means of production of textiles across time and various world cultures. Utilizing over 80 pieces from the Museum's permanent collection, including textiles, prints, paintings, and tools and equipment, this exhibit looks at how similar construction methods have been used to create vastly different objects, all while giving a glimpse into the culture that created the pieces.

“String Theory” focuses on five categories (embroidery, weaving, knitting, sewing, and quilting) to highlight the versatility of working in the fiber arts. The exhibit features an enormous 17th century French tapestry, a rug designed by Henri Matisse, and a quilt made by the Springfield chapter of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, among other objects. The exhibit also includes a hands-on educational area, as well as a host of free public programs including weaving, spinning, and dyeing demonstrations and social activities like Thursday “Knit Nights” at the Museum.

“There is an incredible human element to this show” notes Museum Director Nick Nelson. “These are objects that real people wore, and items that they worked on with their own two hands. There is a powerful storytelling element to the creation of textiles, and we are fortunate enough to have these items in our collection right here in Springfield.”

Guest curator Greta Russell, who is the Museum’s Registrar and has a background in fashion design, explains what drew her to put this show together along with Rachel Johnson, Director of the Lake Region Heritage Center. “Throughout the course of our extensive inventory we uncovered this treasure trove of textiles. I was fascinated by the idea that underneath objects as wildly different as a French tapestry and a Navajo rug, there was this same structure. I think it says a lot about the world that we live in. Despite surface differences of appearance, there is an underlying unifying thread.”

See “String Theory: Textiles From The Permanent Collection” through October 16th at the Springfield Art Museum, located at 1111 E. Brookside Drive. Admission is always free.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, we are dedicated to enhancing the education and documenting the cultural heritage of the people of southwest Missouri through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art objects. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact Joshua Best, Development and Marketing Coordinator, 417-837-5700 ext. 224 or

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