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Exhibits & Artifacts

The Mountain Heritage Center's galleries are open. If you need assistance or more information about our hours, parking, and Covid-19 requirements, please send an email or call 828.227.7129.

Our exhibits interpret mountain life and the natural world, past and present. Temporary exhibits have been produced around themes such as blacksmithing, Cherokee legends, and southern Appalachian handicrafts. Traveling exhibits look at North Carolina's State Dog, explorer William Bartram, Decoration Day traditions, and more.

Gallery Exhibits

The Mountain Heritage Center galleries are at located at Hunter Library 161 (beside Java City) and Hunter Library Second Floor.  176 Central Drive, Cullowhee, NC.

Coverlets: New Threads in Old Patterns

Coverlets exhibit info

Coverlet likely dyed with madder root. 

On Display May 29 - September 29, 2023

The Mountain Heritage Center has a remarkable collection of these 19th and early 20th century woven textiles. The process from sheep and flax or cotton plant to a finished product the size of a large blanket is long and arduous. Yet the skill and care involved in making these artifacts resulted in visually striking works of art. Learn about coverlet making before the Civil War where it was a necessity for warmth in homes. Also learn about coverlets and their role in the Craft Revival.  

Discovering Appalachia

Tunis pic of settler


On permanent display.

Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia is a cultural crossroads that has been visited and inhabited by people from many different cultural backgrounds. Discover talented and hard working people who have shaped this region. Learn about their varied backgrounds and the portions of their culture that they share with others. 

MHC second floor gallery at Hunter Library, M – F 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Future Exhibits at the MHC:

Masks of the Cherokee

Slant Eyed Giant mask by Joshua Adams

Joshua Adams, Slant-Eyed Giant, 2009, buckeye wood and buffalo fur, 18.5 x 8.75 x 5.5 inches, Collection of the WCU Fine Art Museum, Gift of John Glasser, 2018.006. Image taken by WCU Photography Services.

Opening Wednesday, October 18, 2023

What role have masks played in wider efforts to keep cultural identity Cherokee-determined? The upcoming exhibit at WCU’s Mountain Heritage Center examines Cherokee cultural self-determination over the last century through one of its most iconic art forms.

Other MHC Exhibits:

Online Exhibits

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