The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum unites the Textile Museum's collection and the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana collection.
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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.

  is back with the first post of 2024! Start the new year inspired by this cushion cover from the Qing dynasty. This wor...
01/08/2024

is back with the first post of 2024! Start the new year inspired by this cushion cover from the Qing dynasty. This work is thought to possibly be the smallest classical Chinese rug in existence.

What projects will you be working on in 2024? Let us know!

Cushion cover; China, Ningxia; Qing dynasty (1644-1912), 18th century. Cotton, wool; looped-pile; 32 x 32 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2714. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

Welcome back to our first   of 2024! This furnishing fabric from our micro exhibition “Text Thread” is an example of scr...
01/05/2024

Welcome back to our first of 2024!

This furnishing fabric from our micro exhibition “Text Thread” is an example of script being used for aesthetic purposes outside its traditional context. Manufactured in England circa 1869–1872, the design features pseudo-Islamic calligraphy.

Organized by our Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center, “Text Thread” includes three other textiles with script that explore ideas of narrative, identity and cultural belonging. Visit the museum’s lower-level galleries this month to see them in person or explore them online: https://museum.gwu.edu/cotsen-textile-traces-study-center -exhibition

Furnishing fragment; Warner, Sillet & Ramm; England; 1869-1872. Silk, brocatelle, 29 x 36 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2516. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

We recently released the latest volume of The Textile Museum Journal, our peer-reviewed journal featuring new research o...
01/04/2024

We recently released the latest volume of The Textile Museum Journal, our peer-reviewed journal featuring new research on historical textiles. Museum members are able to access the journal for free and enjoy a range of articles from established and emerging scholars.

All are welcome to join us for our upcoming virtual interview series with contributing authors!

For more information on The Textile Museum Journal and our upcoming journal interview series, visit our website: https://museum.gwu.edu/textile-museum-journal

Happy new year! We are welcoming the start of 2024 with an abundance of color and culture. We hope to see you at our mus...
01/01/2024

Happy new year! We are welcoming the start of 2024 with an abundance of color and culture. We hope to see you at our museum for all of our upcoming exhibitions, programs and more.

Carpet (detail); Türkiye, Ushak; 17th century. The Textile Museum Collection R34.1.7. Wool, knotted pile, 532 x 241 cm. Acquired by George Hewitt Myers in 1922.

Our last   of 2023 features a design sample from the Italian design house Fortuny. Spanish-born Mariano Fortuny and his ...
12/29/2023

Our last of 2023 features a design sample from the Italian design house Fortuny.

Spanish-born Mariano Fortuny and his wife Henriette Negrin were known for their use of color, pleating and lush fabrics. Fortuny’s designs broke the norms of early 20th-century dress.

Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, 1871-1949), velvet fragment, Italy, 1900-1925. Silk, metal; 19 x 33 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2308. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

Happy  ! Join us as we celebrate our exhibition “Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts,” which showcases a sele...
12/22/2023

Happy ! Join us as we celebrate our exhibition “Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts,” which showcases a selection of quilts from the collection of the American Folk Art Museum. Here are some close-ups of the handmade quilts on display. Today is your last chance to see this exhibition in our galleries!

“Handstitched Worlds” is organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

Photos by Alexandra Rodriguez/the George Washington University.

This weekend, we say goodbye to Anne Lindberg’s immersive installation “what color is divine light?” Today, we are refle...
12/21/2023

This weekend, we say goodbye to Anne Lindberg’s immersive installation “what color is divine light?” Today, we are reflecting on how this work has provided a space for community and contemplation.

Share with us your own thoughts in the comments below. After the exhibition closes, you can still discover exhibition resources on our website: https://museum.gwu.edu/anne-lindberg-what-color-divine-light

For this week's  , we’re learning about an unusual fiber animal: woolly dogs! Now extinct, these fluffy dogs were bred b...
12/19/2023

For this week's , we’re learning about an unusual fiber animal: woolly dogs! Now extinct, these fluffy dogs were bred by women of the Coast Salish tribal nations in the Pacific Northwest for weaving. Check out the full story:

Smithsonian scientists teamed up with Coast Salish elders and weavers to study the pelt of Mutton, a woolly dog who died in 1859.

Happy  ! Today we are sharing a fantastic “hinggi” (man’s wrapper) from the island of Sumba in Indonesia. Sumban hinggi ...
12/15/2023

Happy ! Today we are sharing a fantastic “hinggi” (man’s wrapper) from the island of Sumba in Indonesia. Sumban hinggi are unique due to their vibrant colors and bold iconography. Hinggi are only woven in the eastern and westernmost parts of the island because of an ancient belief that the island is suspended in place by cosmic threads.

Man’s wrapper (hinggi); Indonesia, Sumba; Sumbanese people; c. 1950. Cotton; warp ikat, warp-faced plain weave; 277 x 137 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1985.18.2. Gift of Mrs. Gertrude W. Corwin.

Still have last-minute holiday shopping to do? Stop by the Artisans Gallery to discover handmade textiles representing g...
12/14/2023

Still have last-minute holiday shopping to do? Stop by the Artisans Gallery to discover handmade textiles representing global traditions. From small, stocking stuffer mud-cloth pouches ($12) to “kalamkari” pillows ($60), all of our textiles are fair-trade, sustainable and handmade. Visit us Tuesdays-Saturdays through December 22 to find the perfect gift for the holiday season.

Photos by Kacey Chapman and Alexandra Rodriguez.

This  , we are featuring images of museum staff and students wearing a selection of one-of-a-kind Peruvian textiles from...
12/08/2023

This , we are featuring images of museum staff and students wearing a selection of one-of-a-kind Peruvian textiles from the Artisans Gallery.

The Artisans Gallery is an educational space at the museum where you can learn about and purchase handmade textiles from cultures around the world. It supports culturally authentic and certified fair-trade work.

Contact the Artisans Gallery at [email protected] or 202-960-5311 to learn about available merchandise.

Photos by Alexandra Rodriguez/the George Washington University.

Welcome back to this week’s  ! Learn about some of the ways that artists tell stories and convey meaning through textile...
12/05/2023

Welcome back to this week’s ! Learn about some of the ways that artists tell stories and convey meaning through textiles.

Read Hannah Lamb’s "Poetic Cloth: Creating Meaning in Textile Art" to explore how the thoughtful use of material and process can create textiles of depth and meaning ($): https://loopknitting.com/en-us/products/poetic-cloth-creating-meaning-in-textile-art

Learn about cross-cultural exchanges facilitated through textile arts in Lesli Robertson's article for Folklife Magazine: https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/storytelling-through-textiles-cross-cultural-crafting-kazakhstan

Reflect on modern uses of textiles as a medium for storytelling in this conversation hosted by Twyg, an online platform dedicated to sustainability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW1R8lmOqyM

Presented by TwygWe reflect on modern uses of textiles as a medium for storytelling. Storytelling allows us to experience the similarities between ourselves ...

Let’s celebrate the start of the weekend with  ! Today, we are featuring an embroidered cushion cover from the Greek isl...
12/01/2023

Let’s celebrate the start of the weekend with ! Today, we are featuring an embroidered cushion cover from the Greek island of Crete.

The designs showcase two-tailed mermaids, birds and confronting serpents, all common motifs in Cretan embroidery.

Cushion cover; Greece, Crete; 18th century. Linen, silk; embroidered; 36 x 58 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-1527. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

Happy  ! This week, we are featuring a beautiful siapo hip wrapper from the Polynesian island of Samoa.The dyes used in ...
11/24/2023

Happy ! This week, we are featuring a beautiful siapo hip wrapper from the Polynesian island of Samoa.

The dyes used in siapo are extracted from the bark of the Blood Tree, also known as Bishofia Javanica. Common motifs include plants, animals and other imagery from daily Samoan life.

Tapa cloth, Samoa. Bark, beaten, 371 x 112 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 2009.7.1. Gift of John and Anne Toppins.

Welcome the cozy season with this week’s  ! Click through the Bata Shoe Museum’s online exhibition that highlights socks...
11/21/2023

Welcome the cozy season with this week’s !

Click through the Bata Shoe Museum’s online exhibition that highlights socks over the years and around the world: https://batashoemuseum.ca/socks/

Travel to the British Isles in Esther Rutter’s "This Golden Fleece: A Journey Through Britain’s Knitted History," where she explores the history of wool ($): https://www.estherrutter.co.uk/home/thisgoldenfleece

Create your own knitwear for the season with Nua Worsted’s Cosy Knits ($): https://stolenstitches.com/products/cosy-knits-print

Cosy Knits is a book that you reach for when you want to snuggle down and cherish your knitting in quiet contemplation. This thought provoking book explores why we knit, our friendships and deeper meaning woven into our stitches. The book uses Stolen Stitches Nua Worsted yarn with designs that use d...

Welcome back! This week, we are mixing things up by featuring the work of contemporary artist  for  . We are highlightin...
11/17/2023

Welcome back! This week, we are mixing things up by featuring the work of contemporary artist for .

We are highlighting two installations by Lindberg: “what color is divine light?” which is on display at our museum, and “passage” at .

The remarkable site-specific installations showcase Lindberg’s trademark work using thread and light to create spaces for contemplation, reflection and community.

Image 1: Anne Lindberg (American, b. 1962), “what color is divine light?” 2023. Cotton thread, staples; 152 x 1676 x 426 cm. Photo by Derek Porter.

Image 2: Anne Lindberg (American, b. 1962), "passage," 2023. Cotton thread, staples; 126 x 792 x 134 cm. Commissioned by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, 2023. Photo by Derek Porter.

Cheers to another  ! This week, we are showcasing a vibrant Asafo flag from Ghana.  Used as emblems for men’s groups cal...
11/10/2023

Cheers to another ! This week, we are showcasing a vibrant Asafo flag from Ghana.

Used as emblems for men’s groups called companies, Asafo flags are carried in village processions during annual Fante festivals, the funerals of important community members and other occasions. The flags’ rich imagery represents the company’s wealth and power.

Flag, Ghana, 1900-1950. Cotton, appliqué, 182 x 112 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1999. 39.2. Gift of Mary Hunt Kahlenberg and Robert T. Coffland.

Explore the evolution of textiles and fashion in this week’s  !Learn about the role of women makers throughout time: htt...
11/07/2023

Explore the evolution of textiles and fashion in this week’s !

Learn about the role of women makers throughout time: https://pieceworkmagazine.com/history-textiles-makers/

Travel through the eras of American fashion in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition "In America: An Anthology of Fashion": https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/in-america-anthology/visiting-guide

Read a fascinating history of the rules of fashion from the Middle Ages to the present day in Richard Thompson Ford’s "Dress Codes: How The Laws of Fashion Made History" ($): https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Dress-Codes/Richard-Thompson-Ford/9781501180088

A “sharp and entertaining” (The Wall Street Journal) exploration of fashion through the ages that asks what our clothing reveals about ourselves an...

Happy  ! This week, we are  featuring a beautiful "mashru" textile from our Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection.Mashr...
11/03/2023

Happy ! This week, we are featuring a beautiful "mashru" textile from our Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection.

Mashru fabric was traditionally used for rural women’s skirts and blouses, children’s clothes, and men’s festival turbans. Less expensive than pure silk, the silk-cotton blend is still widely loved in India today.

Mashru fragment; Gujarat, India; 1875. Silk, cotton; ikat, satin weave, supplementary-warp patterning; 25 x 32 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2055. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

Explore the relationship between silkworms and sustainability in this week’s  .Learn about the process of silkworms spin...
10/31/2023

Explore the relationship between silkworms and sustainability in this week’s .

Learn about the process of silkworms spinning cocoons in this PBS special: https://www.pbs.org/video/silkworms-spin-cocoons-that-spell-their-own-doom-cu8xxl/

Watch this short documentary on the sustainable silk fashion practices of Swiss farmers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWBYCdurOYY

Join a virtual program hosted by the William Morris Society to learn how Calambrians use local resources in their region to foment sustainability: https://williammorrissocietyintheus22.wildapricot.org/event-5442332

Happy  ! Today, we are featuring a beautiful Ecuadorian dress from our collection! This embroidered dress would have bee...
10/27/2023

Happy ! Today, we are featuring a beautiful Ecuadorian dress from our collection!

This embroidered dress would have been worn for special occasions. It is made in the traditional style, with the sleeves and skirt gathered into a yoke, and ruffles at the neck and sleeves.

Dress; Ecuador, Chimborazo province, Cebadas; 1900-1960. Cotton, wool; plain weave, embroidery, cross stitch; 124 x 86 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1984.46.7. Latin American Research Fund.

Happy   Friday! Today, we are featuring a beautiful handkerchief from the 19th century. This handkerchief was originally...
10/20/2023

Happy Friday! Today, we are featuring a beautiful handkerchief from the 19th century.

This handkerchief was originally part of a Maria Clara dress, a traditional style inspired by the eponymous protagonist of the famous 1887 novel “Noli Me Tángere” by Filipino nationalist José Rizal.

Handkerchief, Philippines, 19th century. Piña fiber; embroidery, plain weave, withdrawn element work; 76 x 75 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 1996.18.20. Gift of Mr. Mrs. George Wagner White.

Today, we are featuring a beautiful ikat wall hanging from Uzbekistan for  !  Making ikat involves a sophisticated produ...
10/13/2023

Today, we are featuring a beautiful ikat wall hanging from Uzbekistan for !

Making ikat involves a sophisticated production sequence that requires a large and highly skilled workforce of masters, weavers and other specialists. During the 19th century, this commercially manufactured fabric was considered precious and prestigious.

Cover, Uzbekistan, 1840-1860. Silk and cotton; warp-faced plain weave, warp ikat; 146 x 79 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 2015.11.91. Gift of Guido Goldman in honor of Bruce P. Baganz.

In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, explore different textile traditions in this week’s  ! Flip through Diné (Navajo) w...
10/10/2023

In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, explore different textile traditions in this week’s !

Flip through Diné (Navajo) weavings in "Navajo Textiles: The Crane Collection at The Denver Museum of Nature and Science" ($): https://shopmuseum.org/collections/horizons-weaving-between-the-lines-with-dine-textiles/products/navajo-textiles-the-crane-collection-at-the-denver-museum-of-nature-and-science

Visit the online exhibition curated by the Arizona State Museum "Weaving Has a Heartbeat," which highlights the weaving techniques and culture of the Diné (Navajo) and Zapotec: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/1b0c1320cf34492e940adf6e091d23cb.

Learn about emerging Indigenous fashion designers who are mainstreaming Indigenous designs in this Vogue article: https://www.vogue.com/article/indigenous-fashion-designers-cultural-appropriation-activism

Appropriation of indigenous design may be an ongoing issue, but these six talents are reclaiming their heritage through distinctive collections.

Happy  ! Today, we are featuring this beautiful textile sample designed by the legendary Fujiwo Ishimoto for the Finnish...
10/06/2023

Happy ! Today, we are featuring this beautiful textile sample designed by the legendary Fujiwo Ishimoto for the Finnish design house Marimekko!

Japanese-born Fujiwo Ishimoto created over 400 designs for Marimekko over three decades (1974-2006). His work is primarily centered around nature and is known to evoke different moods through color.

Fujiwo Ishimoto (Japanese, b. 1941) for Marimekko, “Coimbra,” Finland, late 20th century. Cotton, printed, 56 x 33 cm. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2045. Photo by Bruce M. White Photography.

In this week’s   learn about the intersection between contemporary artists and textiles. Explore Andy Warhol's relations...
10/03/2023

In this week’s learn about the intersection between contemporary artists and textiles.

Explore Andy Warhol's relationship with textiles in the Dovecot Studios exhibition "Warhol: The Textiles," opening January 2024: https://www.martincid.com/en/2023/09/warhol-the-textiles-rare-exhibition-of-iconic-artists-textile-designs/

Read about the collaboration between contemporary artists and fashion houses in this article by Harper’s Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/a41645278/art-fashion-collaborations/

Flip through Kazuko Mastri’s book about Japanese artist and designer Kenzo Takada ($): https://www.accartbooks.com/uk/book/kenzo-takada/

Title: Kenzo Takada, Pages: 464 Pages, Publish Date: 15th Jan 2019, Author: Chihiro Masui, Kazuko Masui, ISBN: 9781788840019. An exclusive look-book of hand-coloured sketches and personal photographs from the archives of Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada.

For  , we are sharing a tent band from Kyrgyzstan in the late 19th century.Semi-nomadic Kyrgyz herders traditionally liv...
09/29/2023

For , we are sharing a tent band from Kyrgyzstan in the late 19th century.

Semi-nomadic Kyrgyz herders traditionally lived in portable, domed yurts. They decorated the interiors with intricately patterned bands, like this example.

Tent band; Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan; 1875-1900. Wool; asymmetrical knotted pile, open left knotted pile; 127 x 31 cm. The Textile Museum Collection 2012.13.9. Gift from The Mae Festa Collection.

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with this week’s  ! Learn about identity and fashion in Latin America in this conversati...
09/28/2023

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with this week’s !

Learn about identity and fashion in Latin America in this conversation from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology: https://youtu.be/sCawid60emo

Explore “ & ” in the online exhibition developed by the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles: https://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/latinx-textiles-exhibition

Read about Peruvian textiles in Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez’s book, "Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands" ($): https://schifferbooks.com/products/secrets-of-spinning-weaving-knittingperuvian

Winner, Silver Medal in the Craft/Hobby Category, 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez has gathered artisans of all ages to share their knowledge, lore, and deep skills, highlighting many of the techniques used by craftspeople in the Andes. They reveal clever highland secrets...

In honor of our new exhibition “Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts,” today's   features this “Soldier’s Quil...
09/22/2023

In honor of our new exhibition “Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts,” today's features this “Soldier’s Quilt” from the American Folk Art Museum Collection.

During the second half of the 19th century, British soldiers were encouraged to take up sewing as a useful alternative to less salubrious pursuits like drinking and gambling. Sewing was also used as a form of therapy for soldiers who were injured in conflict and convalesced in hospitals.

Artist unknown (India), “Soldier’s Quilt,” 1850-1875. Wool, probably from military uniforms with embroidery thread, rickrack and velvet binding; inlaid, layered-appliqué, hand embroidered. Image courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum. Gift of Altria Group, Inc. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

“Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts” was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

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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.

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