Making History:
Weaving Institute, 1934

Lucy Morgan convened summer Weaving Institutes at Penland beginning in 1929. Early Weaving Institutes were held on the campus of the Appalachian Industrial School, established in 1911 by the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. In 1934 forty-two students, representing 22 states and the District of Columbia, attended the summer session held August 13th through the 25th. Preceeding the two-week session, “Miss Lucy”—as she was known to all—directed a newly added one-week class to prepare inexperienced weavers for the institute’s advanced work taught by Edward Worst.

Until 1935, the institute was held in Ridgeway Hall, a two-story building constructed in 1914 that served as classroom and dormitory space for children attending the mission school. Looms were set up on the lower level of the wide front porch. Mixed in with the clacking shuttles and treadles was the thunderous noise of children roller skating on the upper porch. The distracting noise and the need for additional space motivated the 1934 institute participants to initiate contributions towards a new building dedicated to the use of the fledgling craft school. Participants contributed $2.50 per log towards the May 1935 log-raising of the Edward F. Worst Craft House. Starting in 1935, the Penland Weaving Institutes were held in the the new Craft House, still in use by today’s Penland School of Crafts.

Move the cursor over faces in the photograph to meet the 1934 Weaving Institute participants.

1933-34 Weaving Institute

1. Mary Coggin
2. Harriet Conley



3. Georgia Morgan
4. Lucy Calista Morgan

5. Ralph Siler Morgan, Sr.
6. Janet Turnball

7. Isadora Williams
8. Edward Worst