The McCarl Gallery contains the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Collection, one of the largest collections of American “figured and fancy” hand-woven coverlets in the world. The collection of 744 jacquard-loomed and geometric coverlets and over 100 pieces of textile equipment represents the historic nineteenth-century transition from commercial handloom weaving to mechanized factory production in America.
In 2004, the McCarl family chose Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, as the permanent home of its special collection because of the College’s demonstrated respect for history and good stewardship and its commitment to educating the public. The prized collection of antique American coverlets owned by Foster and Muriel McCarl was part of a $1 million gift to Saint Vincent College. The Beaver Falls couple conveyed its collection of over 300 coverlets to the College along with funds for the care and preservation of one of the premier coverlet collections in the country. Design and construction of the McCarl Coverlet Gallery in the LEED® certified Fred M. Rogers Center at Saint Vincent was completed in 2008. The McCarl Coverlet Gallery opened that same year.
In 2017, the Gallery acquired a large portion of collections deaccessioned from the internationally known, and now closed, American Textile History Museum (ATHM) that was located in Lowell, Massachusetts. The McCarl Gallery was one of twenty-nine museums within the United States chosen to receive part of the world-renown ATHM collections and one of five in the Mid-Atlantic area. The collection also houses a substantial archive of documentation of over 14,000 coverlets and 9,000 weavers nationwide within its Clarita Anderson and Kay Hawthorne Collections. Additionally, the Gallery is home to the prestigious Rita Adrosko research collection focusing on the Jacquard mechanism.
Selections from the collection are permanently displayed at the Fred M. Rogers Center on the Latrobe campus and online. The exhibits take place on a rotating basis with information about their history and significance.