Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum celebrates the creative achievements of local and global cultures from antiquity through today. The museum unites The Textile Museum, established in 1925, and the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies to engage the university and the wider community through collections, scholarship, exhibitions, and educational programs.
Let’s celebrate the start of the weekend with ! To finish our week of Cambodian textiles, we are featuring a special example in our collection.
This back-tension loom was used by the Tampuan community in Cambodia and features a nearly completed skirt. Most weavers in Cambodia are women, who pass the craft down from mother to daughter over generations.
Image: Tampuan back-tension loom with a nearly completed skirt, Cambodia. 193 x 58 cm (textile), 90 cm (wooden components). The Textile Museum Collection 2016.16.8A. Gift of Barbara G. and David W. Fraser.
Our latest library recommendation is here to brighten up your January:
“The exhibition 'Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love' was shown at both the de Young Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum in 2022. If the catalog is any indication, this show was a colorful, playful breath of fresh air. Patrick Kelly (1954-1990) was known for his tongue-in-cheek approach to fashion, often incorporating fun details like oversized buttons on his clothing designs.
While his style was purposely over-the-top and lighthearted, he was taken seriously as a designer by the fashion industry. In 1988, he was the first American and first Black designer elected to the French Federation of Fashion and of Ready-to-Wear Couturiers and Fashion Designers. Though Kelly tragically died two years later due to complications from AIDS, he succeeded in his stated goal for his designs: "I want my clothes to make you smile."
Get to know the basics of conservation lab safety with Associate Conservator Gennifer Majors at the Avenir Foundation Conservation and Collections Resource Center.
Remember, you can always visit our website to learn about caring for textiles in your own home: https://museum.gwu.edu/textile-care-display
Today's is brought to you by Brazilian artist Lygia Pape (1927-2004). A central figure in Brazilian modern art, Pape pushed the boundaries of geometric art to engage with ethical and political themes.
Do you explore ethical themes in your work?
During the frigid season of winter, let’s daydream about bundling up in cozy garments like this woman’s winter coat! Dating back to China’s Qing dynasty, this high quality fur and silk garment displays an embroidered waterscape scene that harkens back to warmer days.
The coat features vibrant natural elements, depictions of fishermen at work and lions playing with silk balls, symbolizing protection, good fortune and fertility. We encourage you to celebrate the Lunar New Year with more good-luck textiles by exploring our collections online today: go.gwu.edu/collections.
Woman’s winter coat, China, late 19th century. Fur, silk; satin weave, embroidery; 104 x 140 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 2019.7.9. Gift of Sheridan Pressey Collins.
Researched by Karen De Los Angeles Lopez.
Karen De Los Angeles Lopez is a Nicaraguan-American first-year graduate student at GW working on a M.A. in anthropology with a concentration in museum training. Focusing on the intersection of culture and environment, she is passionate about preservation, particularly regarding endangered customs.
Today's features a festival poncho made by the Quechua people of South America. The poncho became popular during the 17th century as a garment for daily use and ceremonial occasions, and has become an important symbol of Indigenous identity in the Andes.
‘Unku, Bolivia, Quechua people, before 1978. Cotton, wool; plain weave, complementary-warp weave; 57 x 64 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1985.27.96. Meadowcroft Bolivian Textile Collection.
Step back into the Avenir Foundation Conservation and Collections Resource Center with us for a look at how Winterthur Conservation Intern Awyn Rileybird builds passive mats for textiles.
Storing archaeological textiles in passive mats helps make them more easily accessible for researchers while keeping the textiles protected.
Let us be the first to wish you a happy ! We are sharing this “suoyi,” or straw raincoat, to round out our exploration of textiles from Taiwan.
Suoyi are worn by countryside farmers as protection from the wind and rain. Woven from palm leaf fibers, they feature large, intricate collars. The production of suoyi is an ancient practice that has continued into the 21st century.
Raincoat, Taiwan, 1900-1925. Straw, weave structure, 119 x 113 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 2007.11.1. Gift of Nancy and Samuel Raskin.
Dive into the latest Collection Stories blog post showcasing a work from contemporary artist Mulyana.
Subscribe to our Collection Stories blog for updates on the latest posts highlighting the museum collections: https://collectionstories.museum.gwu.edu
Take a look under the stereomicroscope with Megalli Conservation Fellow Callie Jerman. This device lets you look close enough to see how individual yarns were spun within a larger textile. With a movable stand, this powerful tool is easy to move around the conservation lab.
Weave some into your day with Japanese artist Fuyuko Matsubara. Matsubara specializes in pictorial weaving, which involves complex methods of dyeing and re-weaving and often incorporates otherworldly spiritual imagery.
Which weaving techniques do you prefer?
For today's post, we are featuring a 17th-century curtain from the Greek island of Chios, renowned for its silk weaving.
The design of columns and an ornate niche suggest that it may have been used in a religious context. Floral motifs and hanging lanterns were typical of the period and blend Ottoman and Italian artistic styles.
To learn more about this textile, check out our Collection Stories blog at https://collectionstories.museum.gwu.edu/.
Curtain; Greece, Chios; mid- to late 17th century. Silk and metallic-wrapped thread, weft-float weave with 2/1 twill interlacing and continuous supplementary-weft patterning; 271 x 156 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1.74. Acquired by George Hewitt Myers in 1952.