Winterthur Program in American Material Culture

Linda Baumgarten, Class of 1972
Curator of Textiles and Costumes,
Colonial Williamsburg

Linda Baumgarten has spent her museum career as a specialist in historic textiles. She wrote her Winterthur thesis on the topic of the textile trade in Boston during the seventeenth century. As curator of textiles and costumes at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia for the past thirty years, she has been responsible for the antique and reproduction textiles displayed in Williamsburg’s eighteenth-century historic interiors. Baumgarten has also curated exhibitions of costumes, early quilts, folk art bed coverings, and home furnishing textiles for the art museums of Colonial Williamsburg. She has written and co-authored three books: Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Williamsburg; Costume Close-up, Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750–1790 (with John Watson and Florine Carr); and What Clothes Reveal, the Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America. Her current research centers on the use and design of bed quilts and quilted clothing in America.