Wonderful Women Wednesday: Doris M. Bowman

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Doris M. Bowman joined the textile division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 1959 and retired as an associate curator in 2013. She continues to rotate textiles on display and give tours of the Museum’s quilt, needlework, and lace collections as a curator emerita. 

Beginning in the 1970s, she coordinated a group of 70 volunteers, responsible for special programs and regularly-scheduled demonstrations related to textile collections. 

For the Museum, Bowman curated Putting Her Best Quilt Forward: Exhibiting at the Fair (1995-96) and Quilts, A Selection from the National Collection (1990-91), in addition to various sections in exhibition halls.

In 1991, Bowman published American Quilts: Smithsonian Treasury.

A woman adjusts a sewing machine in an exhibit case.

Related Resources

Leave a Comment

Produced by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. For copyright questions, please see the Terms of Use.