LATROBE, September 28, 2023 —The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery at Saint Vincent College opens its fall exhibit of antique coverlets entitled How People Made Coverlets: A 19th century factory tour inspired by Mister Rogers with an opening reception on Thursday, September 28, from 5:00-7:00 pm. The reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
The factory tour was a perennial favorite feature on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Fred visited places where people made things, celebrating the interconnectedness of our communities and the people whose hard work and imagination make things possible. In his words, “My father and my two grandfathers worked in factories, and I was always interested in their work. When we show factories, they certainly have fascinating machines, but I always emphasize that it takes people to make machines and to make them work.” From handwoven bed coverlets made in home workshops to anonymous factory productions, the coverlets in the McCarl Collection embody the transition from cottage industry to factory automation over the course of the 19th century. How people made coverlets explores this transition through the lives of the people who made and used these beautiful antique textiles. The exhibit consists of 23 coverlets, 19th century textile equipment, and select excerpts from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.
“Through Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred often took his television neighbors on factory tours. Those factory tours were fun to watch, but Fred made sure to highlight the people who were working in the factories, reminding viewers that it’s the people who make the difference. This exhibit does the same – focusing on the people who were instrumental to creating the coverlets of the 19th century.”
Dana Winters, Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Institute
“I’m delighted to celebrate our neighbors in the Fred Rogers Institute by bringing Mister Rogers’ people-first perspective to our coverlet collection. Our own ‘factory tour’ is a tribute to the hard-working people who made and used these beautiful coverlets in their everyday lives.”
Emily Barth, Curator of the McCarl Coverlet Gallery
How people made coverlets will be open through February 29th, 2024. The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery is located in the Fred Rogers Center on the campus of Saint Vincent College. Admission and parking are free. The McCarl Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and by appointment. Guided tours are also available. For additional information, please visit www.coverletgallery.org or call 724-805-2188.