New England Quilt Museum

The New England Quilt Museum, founded in 1987 and located in the historic district of Lowell, Massachusetts, owns over 500 antique and contemporary quilts, quilt tops, and quilt-related objects.

Lowell, Massachusetts, United States

Museum Website

The New England Quilt Museum (NEQM), aspires to educate quilters and the general public regarding the rich legacy of quilts as artistic expression and historical documentation from the earliest days of this country to the present.  The Museum was founded in 1987 by the New England Quilters Guild and occupies the former Lowell Institution for Savings Bank at 18 Shattuck Street, built in 1845 and located in Lowell's historic district, a center for textile history.
Archipelago, a contemporary art quilt by Nancy Halpern, was commissioned in 1987 as the first quilt in the Museum's future collection.  In 1991, Gail Binney Stern and her father, Edwin Binney III, presented the Museum with thirty-three antique quilts. This donation became the core of the Museum's permanent collection which has now grown to include a total of over 500 quilts.  Gifts of quilts from generous donors continue to augment and enhance the Museum's holdings.
Each year, the Museum organizes as many as ten exhibits of varying scope and duration in its several galleries.  One gallery, the Nancy Donahue Gallery, is dedicated to exhibiting a changing selection of quilts from the Museum's permanent collection.
The Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for which more than half of its operating budget is funded by contributions and grants. The Museum is supported by the generosity of 900 individual members, 90 supporting quilt guilds, a dedicated team of volunteers, a board of directors and a small professional staff of seven.  
The Museum Store displays quilted items on consignment and artisan gift items. The Museum also houses a research library which offers the largest and most accessible collection of quilting related materials for borrowing to Museum members anywhere in the U. S.

The records of the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project-MassQuilts are housed in the New England Quilt Museum.