I look forward to seeing the quilt of the month from the museum and understand its history. Quilting is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. There are several international shows held in the US and worldwide, bringing in lots of tourists. Maybe Chattanooga should host an international quilt fest in their lovely town!
I have traveled throughout the world, and even as close as Biltmore. I love to gaze at the antique textiles and marvel at the skillset of the weavers, the piecemakers, the needleworkers. It is part of life of men and women through the ages. Why belittle what is predominantly women's work? Would the author of the article cast dispersions on men's woodwork? Model trainsets? All of these reflect a piece of our history that 400 years from now people will sit back and reflect on them as they wrap themselves in some chemically created fabric four centuries from now.
This is what museums are for-- preserving a piece of history not for you or me, but for my progeny centuries from now. For right now, I appreciate the inspiration, like I do when I go into an art museum or see original works by masters sitting in a church in Rome.
No doubt $80,000 here and there adds up, especially for those Libertarians out there who are pretty much into short term gain. But at least that $80,000 is housing something that will be around for as long as the fabric holds up, and since they are conserving it, it will be for a while!