Exploring the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Welcome, dear reader, let’s go on an adventure into the world of quilts and textiles at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, this museum is a hidden gem with a rich history and a vibrant collection of textile art pieces. Whether you are a fabric enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking for a fun, educational day out, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles has something for everyone. So come along and let’s discover the beauty and creativity of the textile world.

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates the intricacies and beauty of textiles. It is the only museum in the United States solely dedicated to the art of quilting and textile crafts. Located in downtown San Jose, California, this unique museum showcases an impressive collection of quilts, textiles, and fiber artworks.

The museum is a perfect representation of how textiles have played a vital role in human history, from clothing to home furnishings, artwork, and more. It features a permanent collection as well as a rotating selection of exhibits that highlight the diverse techniques and styles that are used in quilting and textile art. You can immerse yourself in the world of textiles, and it’s fascinating to see how these seemingly simple fabrics can be used to create incredible works of art.


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles has a rich and vibrant history that showcases how the passion and dedication of a few can create something truly extraordinary. The museum was established in 1977 under the name of the American Museum of Quilts and Related Arts, and since then, it has continued to grow and gather a significant following of textile enthusiasts.

In 2005, the museum underwent a name change to reflect its expanded focus on textile arts, a move that has helped the institution gain recognition both nationally and internationally. The museum’s mission is to recognize and promote the art, craft, and history of quilts and textiles through exhibitions, education programs, and community engagement.


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is home to over 1,000 quilts and textile artworks from around the world, making it one of the most significant collections of its kind in the country. The collection includes both traditional and contemporary pieces alike, and it features works by some of the most notable artists in the field, such as Faith Ringgold and Nancy Crow.

One of the museum’s unique offerings is its range of international textiles from places such as Africa, Asia, and South America. These textiles offer a fascinating glimpse into the cultures and traditions of these regions and highlight how textiles are integral to people’s daily lives. The museum also houses an extensive collection of historic quilts, which give insight into the art’s evolution over time.

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a cherished gem of downtown San Jose. Its unique collection of quilts and textiles, combined with its engaging exhibits and programming, makes it a must-see for anyone interested in the artistry and history of textiles.


Current Exhibitions

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles has a rotating series of exhibitions throughout the year, providing visitors with the opportunity to view fascinating pieces from their permanent collection as well as new works by contemporary artists.

One of the recent exhibitions that was held at the museum was the “Interpretations 2020: Rhapsody” exhibit. This exhibition featured contemporary quilts created by artists all over the world. In addition, the museum showcased the exhibition “Yvonne Porcella: Into the Out of,” which celebrated the life and work of the renowned artist and quiltmaker.

Another important exhibition held at the museum was “Body Talk: The Art of Women’s Health.” This important exhibition explored the relationship between textiles, the body, and women’s health. The exhibition showcased works that addressed issues including infertility, pregnancy, and menstruation.

Upcoming Exhibitions

The museum regularly updates their website with information on upcoming exhibitions, making it easy for visitors to plan their visit in advance. One upcoming exhibition is titled “California Art Quilt Revolution: From the Summer of Love to the New Millennium.” This exhibition will delve into the history of quilting in California, exploring the ways in which the craft has evolved over the past few decades.

Another upcoming exhibition, “Points of View: Artist Perspective on San Jose,” is set to showcase the works of artists who have been inspired by the city of San Jose. The exhibition aims to capture the unique spirit of the city through the lens of different artists and their textile creations.

Virtual Exhibitions

Visitors who are unable to visit the museum in person can still enjoy their exhibitions through their virtual exhibitions. These online exhibitions offer high-resolution images of the museum’s most important textiles and quilts. This online resource is particularly valuable for those who are unable to travel to San Jose, but still want to explore the rich history of textiles and quilting.

In conclusion, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles provides a diverse range of exhibitions that offer insight into the world of textiles and quilting. With their expansive permanent collection, as well as their ongoing rotation of contemporary exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with a fascinating and informative view into the world of textile arts.

Education and Events

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is not just a place to admire beautiful textiles, it also offers a range of educational programs and events. Whether you are an experienced textile artist or just starting out, the museum has something to offer.

Classes and Workshops

If you have always wanted to learn how to quilt, weave, or stitch, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is the perfect place to start. The museum offers a variety of classes and workshops on all aspects of textile arts. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced textile artist, there is a class or workshop that will suit your needs.

The classes and workshops at the museum are taught by experienced artists and educators who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills. They are open to all ages and skill levels, so whether you are a teenager, a retiree, or somewhere in between, you can come and learn something new.

The museum offers classes on a range of topics, including quilting, weaving, stitching, and more. Some classes focus on specific techniques, such as hand embroidery or needle felting, while others are more general and cover a range of textile arts topics. The classes are typically held in small groups, which allows for plenty of individual attention from the instructor.

Attending a class or workshop at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a great way to meet other textile enthusiasts and get inspired. You can see the work of other artists on display in the museum and learn about different styles and techniques.


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles hosts a number of events throughout the year, including lectures, artist talks, and community events. These events are a great way to learn more about textile arts and to connect with other enthusiasts.

Past events at the museum have included “The Quilts of Gee’s Bend: An American Treasure,” which showcased the work of a group of African American women from rural Alabama, whose quilts have become renowned for their bold, improvisational style. The museum has also hosted talks by well-known textile artists such as Nancy Crow, whose innovative approaches to quilting have inspired generations of makers.

In addition to these special events, the museum also hosts regular community events, such as craft fairs and quilting bees. These events are a great way to get involved with the local textile arts community and to learn from others.


If you are a regular visitor to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, you may want to consider becoming a member. Membership offers a range of benefits, including discounts on classes, workshops, and events.

Members also receive exclusive access to members-only events and early access to new exhibitions. This means you can see new work before anyone else and get behind-the-scenes insights into the museum’s collections and programming.

Membership is available at a range of levels, from student to lifetime, and comes with a range of benefits. Becoming a member is a great way to support the museum and to stay connected with the local textile arts community.

Visiting Information

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in textile arts and culture. Here is everything you need to know about planning a visit to this unique museum.

Location and Hours

Located at 520 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, the museum is situated in the heart of downtown San Jose. It is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or on foot. If you’re driving, there is ample parking available nearby.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 4pm. It’s important to note that the museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday, as well as on major holidays. If you’re planning a visit around a holiday, be sure to check the museum’s website for updated information.

Tickets and Admission

Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for members and children under 12. The museum also offers free admission on the first Friday of every month. This is a great opportunity to explore the museum’s unique exhibits and collections without breaking the bank.

If you’re a frequent visitor to the museum, you may want to consider becoming a member. Membership comes with a variety of perks, including free admission, discounts on merchandise and events, and special members-only events.


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is committed to making its exhibits and collections accessible to as many people as possible. The museum is wheelchair accessible and offers audio tours and large-print exhibition labels. Visitors can contact the museum in advance to arrange for any additional assistance they may need.

If you have any specific accessibility needs or concerns, be sure to contact the museum in advance. Staff members are happy to work with visitors to ensure that everyone can enjoy the museum’s exhibits and collections to the fullest.

Group Visits

If you’re planning to visit the museum with a group, consider booking a guided tour. The museum offers a variety of tours for groups of all sizes, including school groups, adult groups, and corporate groups.

Guided tours are led by knowledgeable docents who can provide insight and context to the museum’s exhibits and collections. Tours typically last 45-60 minutes and can be customized to meet the needs and interests of your group.

If you’re interested in booking a guided tour, be sure to contact the museum in advance to arrange the details. The museum’s staff are happy to work with you to create a memorable and educational experience for your group.

In conclusion, visiting the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles is a must-do activity for anyone interested in textile arts and culture. With its unique exhibits, collections, and accessibility features, the museum is a valuable resource for visitors of all ages and abilities. Plan your visit today to experience everything this museum has to offer!

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