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One of the earliest gifts in the collection, donated by the museum’s founder in 1916, is a crazy quilt sewn with velvets and silks and meticulously embroidered. Over the next 50 years Brooks’ textile collection quickly grew to include 15th-century Italian linens, church vestments, Victorian beadwork, 19th-century white work embroideries, and American coverlets. In the latter half of the 20th century the collection expanded in scope with the addition of Asian, African, and Pre-Colonial textiles as well as numerous 20th-century American quilts. Some of the more notable acquisitions include an exquisite collection of 16th-18th century European lace, an 18th-century English embroidered waistcoat, an African Hausa robe, and an exceptional pair of point d'Alençon lace bed curtains that were commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte for Empress Josephine. Also included in this collection are Modern and Contemporary fiber art pieces by regional artists.