The Textile Museum announced today that collector Murad Megalli will be honored this fall with the museum’s Award of Distinction. The award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service in fulfillment of the museum’s mission to expand public awareness and appreciation—locally, nationally and internationally—of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world’s textiles. Previous recipients include longtime museum supporters Harold M. Keshishian, Alice Dodge Wallace and Edwin M. Zimmerman, all three of whom were recognized in 2007. Megalli will be honored with the Award of Distinction at an event held at the Residence of the Turkish Embassy on Thursday, October 14, 2010.
Megalli has had an interest in and collected textiles for 22 years. A resident of Istanbul, Turkey, he learned much about textiles from his mentor, the late Josephine Powell, a renowned ethnographer and photographer who was awarded The Textile Museum’s George Hewitt Myers Award for lifetime achievement in 2006. Megalli donated a collection of 149 19th-century Central Asian ikats—stunning, colorful textiles named for the difficult resist dyeing technique used to create their patterns—to The Textile Museum in 2005, with subsequent gifts to the collection. Among one of the largest holdings of Central Asian ikats in the world, the collection represents the artistic virtuosity of this textile tradition and documents how these pieces were used their original cultural context. A selection of textiles from The Textile Museum’s Megalli Collection, including coats for men and women, women’s dresses and pants, cradle covers, hangings and fragments, will be on display for the first time ever in the museum’s fall 2010 exhibition, Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. The entirety of the collection will also be published in a beautifully illustrated catalog with original scholarship complementing the exhibition.
Murad Megalli is a managing director and the chief executive officer for the Middle East, Turkey and Central Asia at J.P. Morgan based out of London and Istanbul. He holds a Master in Management from Yale as well as graduate and undergraduate engineering degrees in civil engineering and hydraulics. He speaks English, Turkish, Arabic and Russian.
About The Turkish Embassy Residence
The Turkish Embassy Residence is one of Washington, D.C.’s most important historic buildings. Designed by well-known architect George Oakley Totten, Jr. and completed in 1914, the Mansion was commissioned by Edward H. Everett, a wealthy industrialist from Cleveland, Ohio best known for inventing the corrugated metal tops for soft-drink bottles. Architect George Oakley Totten, Jr. had a longstanding relationship with Turkey before the future Residence was built. He previously worked in Istanbul, where he designed the first American Chancery and a Residence for Izzet Pasha, the Grand Vezir, Prime Minister of the Empire. His work was so well received that he was offered the position of “Private Architect to the Sultan.”
Totten blended three architectural periods in his design for the mansion: 16th-century Italian, 18th-century Romanesque and 19th-century Art Deco, with distinct features from decorative Ottoman styles. During the 1920s, the House because famous for festive musical evenings with singers from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Everett continued to reside in the mansion until his death in 1929. In 1932, Everett’s widow, Grace Burnap, leased the House to the Turkish Embassy and it was used both as Chancery and Residence. In 1936, at the behest of Turkey’s first President, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the House was purchased with all its contents. In the 1990s, the Chancery moved to Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue and the Mansion became the Residence of the Ambassadors of Turkey. The Residence was closed in 2004 for a nearly three-year renovation effort, during which all contents were painstakingly restored.
About The Textile Museum
Established in 1925 by collector George Hewitt Myers, The Textile Museum is dedicated to expanding public awareness and appreciation – locally, nationally and internationally – of the artistic merit and cultural importance of the world’s textiles. The museum presents changing exhibitions of historical textiles from its 18,000-piece collection and other holdings as well as contemporary fiber art, complemented by a range of public programs for all ages.
The Textile Museum is located at 2320 S Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.’s Embassy Row, and housed in two historic buildings: the founder’s family home – designed in 1913 by John Russell Pope – and an adjacent building designed in 1908. These former residences provide a warm, intimate setting for the museum’s galleries, research library, shop and program spaces. The museum also boasts lovely gardens designed by Rose Greely, Washington’s first licensed female architect. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $5 for non-members. For more information, visit www.textilemuseum.org or call (202) 667-0441.
Media Contact: Cyndi Bohlin, Director of Communications and Marketing, (202) 667-0441, ext. 78 or firstname.lastname@example.org.