Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service


Archived exhibitions are no longer available for booking but are maintained as a virtual record of past Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) programs.


To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions

To Honor and Comfort: Native Quilting Traditions celebrated quilting within diverse American Indian and Native Hawaiian communities. Quilting in these communities originated from encounters with several different groups, including Euro-American settlers and missionaries. Over the last century, Native needleworkers have experimented with color, design, materials, and technologies.

Using interpretation infused with the Native voice, the exhibition paid tribute to the artists who have expressed their cultural heritage through these spectacular textiles. It examined how quilting ceremonies and traditions help bind neighbors and families within and across generations. The exhibition contained 45 vibrant quilts from the collections of the Michigan State University Museum (MSUM), some of which were presented in settings evoking the event they commemorate: a baby-naming ceremony, high school graduation, and a basketball tournament.

To Honor and Comfort opened at the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). The exhibition was made possible in part by a major grant from Metropolitan Life Foundation with additional support from Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machine Company, the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Charitable Trust Gatherings and Conferences Programs administered by the Fund for Folk Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Special Exhibition Fund.

This Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibition toured from 1999-2001.




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