March 1, 2024

Costume collection featured at Hjemkomst Center


The Needle’s Art: Embroidered Treasures of the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection will be on display from March 26 through June 23 at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota. Curated by Susan Curtis, ERHCC’s staff curator, the exhibit will feature multiple embroidered textiles.

 Regular admission is $12 for adults, $11 seniors, $9 college students, $8 youth ages 5 through 17, free to ages 4 and under, active military and HCSCC members. Free to everyone on Tuesday nights from 5 p.m. to 8pm.

Using a needle and thread to embellish clothing and textiles has been practiced by men and women for centuries in both the home and in professional workshops. But early in the nineteenth century, embroidery became primarily viewed as a woman’s activity and was relegated to the arena of crafts, often without recognition of the artist who made it. American museums are filled with these pieces of needle art, made in the home and passed down through the family until they end up in a museum collection. These pieces illustrate more than a woman’s ability to mark her family’s linens, beautify her home, or fulfill her expected social role. They become an outlet for her creativity and a means of moving beyond her home and into the wider world.

The Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection at North Dakota State University has a remarkable collection of embroidered pieces made in the home, added to clothing or textiles by professional embroiderers, or collected by donors during their world travels. This exhibit celebrates the art of embroidery—an art that spans geography, cultures, and time to connect women across the world and across history.

The Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is a repository of material culture focusing on clothing, textiles and related items. The collection works to reveal how such objects serve as a record of life through collection, preservation and study. Housed at North Dakota State University, across the river from Moorhead in Fargo, the collection of over 5,000 fiber artifacts has broadened its mission to preserve the cultural heritage of the state and region through textiles, clothing and related items.

While the exhibit is up, HCSCC will host two public presentations: one will be the curator talk by Susan Curtis at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, and on Sunday, May 19, at 1 p.m., well-known embroidery artist Kathy Andrews will present a talk on antique samplers. Both presentations are free and open to the public. Andrews will also teach a 6-hour intermediate workshop on surface embroidery on Sat.  May 18 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Registration is available at

This activity is made possible through grants from Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation; The Arts Partnership with the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo; the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation and the Alex Stern Family Foundation.

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