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The Textile Museum and the George Washington University

The Textile Museum is joining with the George Washington University to become a cornerstone of a new museum scheduled to open in late 2014 on GW’s main campus in Foggy Bottom. The affiliation positions The Textile Museum to educate the next generation of textile enthusiasts and expand on its rich tradition of art, education, scholarship, and fostering cultural understanding.

Exhibitions and programs will be presented to the public in a custom-built, approximately 46,000-square-foot museum building located at G and 21st streets NW, bearing the names of both The Textile Museum and the George Washington University Museum. The new museum will include gallery space for The Textile Museum, the Arthur D. Jenkins Library for the Textile Arts, and The Textile Museum Shop. In addition to the downtown location, GW is constructing a collections and conservation resource center on its Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Loudoun County, Virginia, with 22,000 square feet of space for the storage, study, and care of museum's collections.

Beginning January 1, 2014, The Textile Museum no longer has regular visiting hours at 2320 S Street, NW. The Textile Museum is contining to offer programs at multiple sites throughout the transition. Visit the online calendar for the most up-to-date list of events.

A New Museum Model
Envisioning the Future: Plans for Washington D.C.'s Newest Cultural Destination
Time-Lapse Videos of Construction
The Textile Museum and George Washington University in the News
Estimated Timeline
Moving the Museum's Collections
Support the Museum


A New Museum Model

toast shovel line
See photos from the museum groundbreakings on Flickr. GW Students are already interacting with TM staff through graduate seminars and other programs.

Through its affiliation with a university, The Textile Museum—with its near 100-year history of public service and acclaimed scholarship—is forging a new model for a dynamic museum. The Textile Museum will continue to present exhibitions and programs, and will also seek collaborations with disciplines across the university’s academic community—resulting in stimulating opportunities for learning and research. Innovative collaborations are already taking shape, and efforts will continue to expand when The TM reopens. Recent examples include:

  • Spring 2012: Textile Museum curators taught a GW graduate-level art history seminar titled “Textiles and Politics”
  • February 2013: The TM teamed up with GW’s chemistry department for The TM's Mid-Winter Family Festival, allowing families to explore the science of textiles using microscopes
  • Summer 2013: Students enrolled in museum education and exhibition design courses at GW collaborated with TM staff in hands-on research and design projects that support the museum's opening.
  • Fall 2013: TM staff worked with students enrolled in a “Museums and Social Media” course this fall to research models for creating an online community site for textile enthusiasts.

    Envisioning the Future: Plans for Washington, D.C.'s Newest Cultural Destination

    The museum from 21st Street. The historic Woodhull House. The collections and conservation resource center in Virginia.

    The museum will incorporate both a new signature building (facing 21st Street NW) and the historic Woodhull House (facing G Street NW) and is located adjacent to GW's University Yard. With four levels above ground (reaching sixty-five feet) and two below-ground levels, there will be roughly three times the amount of gallery space currently available at The TM. In addition to galleries, the museum will include a learning center, a program room, the Arthur D. Jenkins Library for Textile Arts, as well as staff office and exhibition preparation areas.

    The new conservation and collections resource center on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Loudoun County reached substantial completion on schedule in October 2013. The environmentally controlled structure is designed for the long-term protection, study, and care of the collections of The Textile Museum, The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, and the university. The center will provide conservation and behind-the-scenes support for the public exhibitions and programs occurring at the new museum facility at the university's Foggy Bottom campus.

    More renderings are available at gwu.edu/textilemuseum.

    View timelapse videos of the construction progress:


    The Textile Museum and the George Washington University in the News

    Read the latest Textile Museum press releases.

    Textile Museum set to have a new home
    The Washington Post, October 13, 2013

    Textile Museum takes pains to prep artifacts for relocation
    Washington Business Journal, October 10, 2013

    Textile Museum displays ethnic weaving from Southeast Asia before its move to GW campus
    The Washington Post, April 14, 2013

    Groundbreaking set for Textile Museum’s new home in DC at George Washington University
    AP, October 6, 2012

    Textile Museum to get new home
    The Washington Post, October 4, 2012

    George Washington University Museum Approved by Zoning Commission
    GW Today, July 2, 2012

    Nothing Like the Real Thing 
    GW Today, April 5, 2012


    Estimated Timeline

    • Oct. 18, 2012: Groundbreaking ceremony on the Foggy Bottom Campus.
    • Winter 2012: Excavation of the Foggy Bottom museum site and the Va. collections and conservation resource center.
    • Summer 2013: The museum reaches ground level.
    • April 12, 2013: Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains opens at The Textile Museum on S Street.
    • Fall 2013: The museum reaches its highest point, construction on the Va. collections and conservation resource center is complete.
    • October 13, 2013: Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains closes, and The Textile Museum begins new hours.
      • The Textile Museum Shop will be open Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. beginning October 14
      • Select programs will continue to be offered on S street and at GW.
    • January 1, 2014: The Textile Museum is no longer open for regular visiting hours on S Street, but programs continue at multiple sites throughout the transition.
    • Winter 2014: Textile Museum staff begin moving the collections to the Va. collections and conservation resource center.
    • Late 2014: The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum opens to the public.

    Montera, Bolivia, dept. Chuquisaca, TM 1982.43.21. Latin American Research Fund.

    Moving The Textile Museum’s Collections

    The Textile Museum collections encompass over 19,000 artifacts, and each piece is carefully safeguarded by our collections and conservation staff for the benefit of future generations. The move of the collection to a new, climate-controlled collections storage facility is an exciting prospect, and an opportunity that requires much preparation.

    TM staff have been preparing the collection for its new home since January 2012. The first step in the process was a comprehensive survey of the collections to assess location, current storage, and future needs of each object. Staff completed this initiative in spring 2013; now, they are addressing roughly 8,500 pieces that require some form of intervention before they can move to the museum's new conservation and collections resource center in Virginia.

    The collections survey was featured in The Textile Museum Members' Magazine, Winter 2013 issue.The packing and collections re-housing process was spotlighted in the Fall 2013 magazine.

    Follow the Collections Move on Tumblr

    Staff and volunteers surveying and packing the collections enjoy the chance to see pieces of the collection not often exhibited. Peek into our storage rooms yourself through visiting our tumblr page: http://textile-museum.tumblr.com/


    Support The Textile Museum

    Preparing for The Textile Museum’s bright future takes considerable resources. Textile Museum is responsible for the costs of moving its collections, as well as many of the equipment needs at the new facilities – from conservation lab equipment to library shelving.

    Once at GW, The Textile Museum will still rely on generous contributions from donors, members, and institutional funders to support its exhibitions, programs, scholarship, collections care, and staff. While the university will cover facilities and maintenance costs for The Textile Museum’s new home, The TM will continue to support its programmatic budget through fundraising.

    To learn how you can support our move and our future work, contact Eliza Ward, director of development, at eward@textilemuseum.org or 202-667-0441 ext. 11.


    To read more about this affiliation and the George Washington University Museum, please visit www.gwu.edu/textilemuseum.




    © 2013 THE TEXTILE MUSEUM  2320 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008-4088 (202) 667-0441