Washington, D.C.—The Textile Museum is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s FY2013 Museums for America program. The competitive matching grant award of $88,364 will support the design of an interactive learning center for the museum’s new location opening in fall 2014 on the campus of the George Washington University (GW). The learning center will introduce audiences of all ages to the techniques and materials used to create textiles, as well as the cultures that make and use textiles around the globe.
Members of the museum’s education, curatorial, and exhibitions teams are working with an advisory group that includes museum volunteers and GW faculty to design the learning center. Graduate students in GW’s museum education program will contribute to the design and evaluation phases of the project.
Interactive stations in the learning center will help demystify the process of creating textiles, connect historical textiles with our contemporary world, and explore textiles as windows into diverse cultures around the globe. A combination of “high touch” and “high tech” experiences will encourage visitors to examine textiles’ rich connections with world cultures, history, economics, mathematics, and other fields.
“As The Textile Museum prepares to move to its new home, we are honored to receive a grant to support a learning center display that will provide public and university audiences an opportunity to explore the technical, artistic, and cultural aspects of textiles, and perhaps more importantly, to better understand the diverse global cultures from which they come,” said Dr. John Wetenhall, director of The Textile Museum and the new George Washington University Museum. “Collaborating with GW graduate students and faculty in the learning center’s development also presents a valuable training experience for the next generation of museum educators and exhibit designers.”
The project seeks to re-envision an existing learning center developed fifteen years ago for The Textile Museum’s historic buildings in Washington’s Dupont-Kalorama neighborhood. In the fall of 2014, The Textile Museum will reopen at GW in new museum facilities that will include dedicated galleries and increased exhibition space for The Textile Museum and the university’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. The learning center is among the exhibitions and programs that will involve GW faculty and students in new academic collaborations.
The Textile Museum is one of 170 grant projects funded among a pool of 597 applications to the FY2013 Museums for America program. Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Susan Hildreth honored the grantees at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on September 18.
About The Textile Museum and the George Washington University
The Textile Museum will reopen in a forthcoming museum on the campus of the George Washington University in the fall of 2014. Exhibitions and programs will be presented to the public through this unprecedented affiliation between a university and an existing art museum with a respected eighty-eight-year history. The Textile Museum plans to continue many of its acclaimed programs, and the affiliation creates new opportunities for research and innovative public resources.
The new museum will be a custom-built, approximately 46,000-square-foot building located at G and 21st streets, NW. It will include dedicated galleries and increased exhibition space for The Textile Museum, the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection and the university’s art collections. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October 2012, substantial construction work will be completed on the facilities in spring 2014, and the public opening is anticipated for fall 2014.
In addition to the new museum in Foggy Bottom, the university is constructing a 22,000-square-foot conservation and collections resource center at its Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va., for the care and study of the museum’s collections. Textile Museum staff are currently preparing the 19,000 pieces in the museum’s collections for the move to the new storage facility, a process which is being documented on the museum’s tumblr page: http://textile-museum.tumblr.com/
About The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum expands public knowledge and appreciation—locally, nationally and internationally—of the artistic merit and cultural importance of the world’s textiles. Founded in 1925 by George Hewitt Myers, The Textile Museum is an international center for the exhibition, study, collection and preservation of the textile arts. The Textile Museum collections encompass more than 19,000 objects that date from 3,000 BCE to the present. The museum’s 20,000 volume Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts is among the world’s foremost resources for the study of textiles. The Textile Museum is located at 2320 ‘S’ Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through October 13, 2013. An $8 suggested admission is requested of non-members. Visitors will be still be able to visit The Textile Museum Shop and the two historic homes of the museum’s founder, George Hewitt Myers, on Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 14 to December 31, 2013. In the fall of 2014, The Textile Museum will reopen as a primary cornerstone of the forthcoming George Washington University Museum (G and 21st Streets NW). For more information, visit http://www.gwu.edu/museum/ or http://textilemuseum.org/tmatgw/.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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