Community exhibits 2019

IHQS is proud to partner with local organizations in Bloomington to present a number of off-site events during our show. Please check back—more are coming between now and March!


Farmer House museum

In 1999, Mary Ellen Farmer left her historic 1869 house to the community of Bloomington, along with her possessions, to be a museum dedicated to community, family and the history of ordinary life. The Farmer House will be exhibiting quilts and textiles from it's permanent collection and textile related-art by local artists.  The Farmer House is located at 529 N. College Avenue in downtown Bloomington. We will be open from 9 am - 7 pm with a during the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show with a special reception on Friday night from 5:30-9. There is FREE PARKING  at the Farmer House from 5:30 pm to closing on Thursday and Friday and all day on Saturday.  Please call (812) 336-5597 for more information. 


Mathers Museum of World Cultures

“Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths”    

An exhibit featuring story cloths will be on display at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures during the annual Indiana Heritage Quilt Show. “Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths” will present textiles created by Hmong Americans, a people of Southeast Asian heritage who largely came to the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s as refugees, following the wake of the Vietnam War.  

Before coming to the U.S., some Hmong people lived in refugee camps in Thailand. Developed in these camps, story cloths use older textile decoration techniques in a new way—to produce works of fabric art that non-Hmong could buy and that would help convey Hmong experiences to them. Those stories could be old tales of the Hmong people, but artists also used these textiles to help viewers understand Hmong customs and the difficult histories that Hmong refugees endured.

The textiles that will be featured in the exhibit were made by Sy Vang Lo and her sister Khang Vang Yang. Ms. Lo consulted with a group of Mathers Museum of World Cultures researchers on a pair of visits to her Hmong Folk Art shop in St. Paul, Minnesota in October 2017. They represent a rich sample of the sisters’ work in the story cloth genre. As with the exhibited textiles showing conflict and movement, or in those that picture village life in Laos far away, these textiles evoke dramatic change. But they also reveal a continuity, as Mrs. Lo and Mrs. Yang are preserving an art form that was once a synthesis of old and new but that today has become a Hmong American tradition. While many Hmong women in the U.S. once made story cloths to support their families, today the art is carried forward by a smaller number of artists who preserve it as a part of Hmong American heritage. 

“Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths,” will be on display January 8 through July 26, 2019. The Mathers Museum of World Cultures is located at 416 North Indiana Avenue, Bloomington. Its exhibit hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the museum is free.

Free visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets. If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 812-855-6873.