Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising


The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is Colorado State University’s historic costume and textiles collection. Its mission is the exploration of the aesthetic, social, cultural and physical significance of textiles, dress and interior furnishings. The collection originated in the early 1950s as a small faculty teaching resource in the former Department of Home Economics; until 2009, storage and exhibition space in the Gustafson Gallery were housed in the Gifford Building.

FREE and open to the public, the Avenir Museum includes five galleries located in three campus buildings, where objects are regularly exhibited and students have the opportunity to work with artifacts according to museum standards of care and handling. Please use the links above and to the right to explore our three locations.

The Avenir collection is comprised of over 18,000 artifacts of historically and culturally significant objects - click HERE for more information about the collection.

"Avenir" means future...

The Avenir Foundation made the Museum's first premises at the University Center for the Arts possible with a generous gift in 2008, featuring climate-controlled storage, a reading/seminar room, dedicated classroom, conservation lab, and curatorial offices.

In 2012, the Avenir Foundation built upon their 2008 generosity, with an additional lead gift to expand the Museum’s ability to support its mission. Since the Foundation derives its name from the French word for “future”, we salute its vision in helping to weave the future of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising.

The 2012 gift was realized with a major 2013-2015 design renovation and expansion project, which is accomplishing:

  • An inviting physical presence and distinct identity as part of the University Center for the Arts.
  • State-of-the-art learning environments for our students and community, including additional gallery spaces, expanded classroom and reading/seminar room facilities, and the eventual establishment of a specialized natural dye garden.
  • Achievement of the next level of museum best practices, through improved storage space and HVAC systems, dedicated textile conservation laboratory, and more efficient learning and practice spaces.

Watch a video about the Avenir Museum transformation: