Although there were no textile exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago, there were some wonderful needlepoint rugs in the Thorne Miniature Rooms. These rugs were designed by Mrs. James Ward Thorne and hand done by Lee Meisinger. She was a cousin of Eugene Kupjack who Mrs. Thorne hired to make her miniature furniture. Although Lee did not have a background in needlework, she took classes at the Needlework and Textile Guild of Chicago. She started at two silk threads over 30 and eventually was working one silk thread over 40.
The rooms were owned by IBM for several decades and were exhibited around the world. With all this handling, some of items were badly damaged. Mrs. Thorne's son bought them back and donated 68 of them to The Art Institute of Chicago. The Phoenix Art Museum owns 20 of these rooms. In 1977 the miniature rugs from the American series of the Rooms were replaced by replicas executed by members of Needlework and Textile Guild of Chicago. They are still glorious to see.