The mural pieces, reliefs, installations, and soft sculptures that make up the modern textile collection of the Fondation Toms Pauli were created in the second half of the twentieth century by internationally acclaimed European, American and Japanese artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Olga de Amaral, Jagoda Buić, Ritzi and Peter Jacobi, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette, Elsi Giauque, and Naomi Kobayashi.
Most of the artists represented in the collection had exhibited at the Lausanne Tapestry Biennials. Over the years, they had moved away from the classical tradition to explore new modes of artistic expression, either inspired by the past or entirely innovative. Through their use of novel techniques and materials, they redefined the notions of volume and space and gave tapestry new meaning. As initiators of the New Tapestry movement, these artists played a major part in the history of twentieth-century art.
Forty-six modern textile artworks, donated in 1996 by the Pierre Pauli Association to the State of Vaud, constitute the core of the twentieth-century textile-art collection. It is occasionally enhanced by new acquisitions or gifts from private collectors, artists or the City of Lausanne. For example, in 2005, the Fondation Toms Pauli received gifts of close to eighty works from the Pierre and Marguerite Magnenat collection, and from the estate of Lissy Funk, as well as twenty works donated by Alice Pauli. Today, the twentieth-century textile-art collection comprises more than 200 pieces.