Three Ways To See the NAN Permanent Collection

By Patricia Tector, NAN-Certified Master Judge

This article first appeared in NANthology, the NAN newsletter, in fall 2018.

The National Academy of Needlearts (NAN) is very fortunate to have an admirable collection of needleart. The collection is housed at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

There are three ways to view this collection:

  • Go to the NAN website at Once there, click on Galleries, which pulls down a list. Click on Permanent Collection, and you will find photos of pieces in the collection. Click on a photo, and you will next see an enlarged picture and information provided by the artist.
  • Go to the Gregg Museum of Art & Design’s website at Once there, click on Collections. On this page you will see you can click on Search our online catalog. On the page that comes up, there is a box under WORD SEARCH in which you can type in “NAN Collection” and then click on the Search button. Several pieces will be displayed over many pages; some are not part of the NAN Collection.
  • You can visit the collection in person. If you are able to do this, the best suggestion is to contact the museum before you go so that you can make an appointment to view pieces. The person to contact is Mary Hauser, Registrar and Associate Director. She can be contacted by phone at 919.515.3102 or by email at Because the museum is part of NCSU, the days when the staff is available may be affected by the university’s calendar – another reason to make contact ahead of your visit.

The collection includes works from several sources:

  • Original works created by candidates who finished their Teachers’ Certification Pro-gram. The NAN Board may, upon the recommendation of the Director and Assistant Director of Teacher’s Certification, decide to accession a candidate’s work. This is the highest honor bestowed on a NAN candidate.
  • Honors is a five-year program of research at an advanced level. It culminates with a written thesis, oral presentation, and a stitched piece that becomes part of NAN’s Permanent Collection.
  • Directors’ pieces have been generously given to the collection by previous members of NAN’s Board of Directors.
  • From time to time, the Board of Directors decides to make Special Additions to the collection. These do not fit into any of the other categories, but are notable works of art that are a welcome addition. Examples of this are pieces and books of Elsa Williams that her daughter very generously donated to NAN for the Permanent Collection.

No matter how you view the pieces in NAN’s Permanent Collection, they are inspiring! There will always be a selection of pieces on display every year in The Exemplary.