The LSU Textile & Costume Museum offers changing exhibitions of regional, national and international interest. The scope of the museum's collections are global. Included are prehistoric and ethnic textiles and costume, as well as contemporary high fashions and high-tech textiles. Types of items consist of apparel, accessories, household textiles, piece goods, books, patterns, and a variety of items related to textile and apparel production, use, and care. As part of the Department of Textiles, Apparel Design, and Merchandising, the museum promotes conservation, research, teach, and public service. Research includes studies of the technical, aesthetic, historic, and sociocultural significance of textiles and apparel. It is a component collection of the Louisiana Museum of Natural History at LSU.
The organization, Friends of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum, supports the goals and functions of the museum by providing funds for artifact purchases, exhibition mounting, educational workshops, and other activities throughout the year.
One of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum’s most treasured holdings is a 1966 woman’s special occasion dress designed by one of the country’s most acclaimed fashion designers, James Galanos (1924-2016). As the recipient of multiple international awards for his design work over his 46-year career span, Galanos was known for his use of couture techniques and fine craftsmanship. May Cross John Baynard, the museum donor of the garment with such a prized label, was a treasure in her own right and a most ardent supporter of the museum in its early days. She was not only a major donor, but was also instrumental in organizing the museum’s support group, the Friends of the LSU Textile & Costume Museum, and hosted the museum’s first gala in 1995. Due to the piece’s importance to the museum, it was selected to be rendered into a fashion drawing format by retired New York Women’s Wear Daily illustrator Steven Stipelman. The image now serves as the museum’s logo.