The Textile Museum, Washington

The Textile Museum, Washington. The Textile Museum, Washington.

The Textile Museum (TM), Washington, DC (USA), was founded in 1925 in the home of the American philanthropist George Hewitt Myers (1875-1957), who was also a well-known carpet and textile collector. The home of Myers at 2320 S St. NW was commissioned in 1912 from the architect John Russell Pope, who also designed the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives building and part of the National Gallery of Art.

The Myers’ home was completed in 1915. Ten years later, Myers acquired the next-door building and his collection was moved into 2330 S in 1925, so laying the foundation for the Textile Museum.

In 2011, the two buildings were put on the market not long after Washington University and the Textile Museum started work on new, joint facilities at 21st and G Streets NW, Washington D.C. (see below).

The Myers’ collection originally consisted of 275 rugs and sixty related textiles. He began collecting Turkish and Caucasian village rugs and related textiles in the early twentieth century. He later became fascinated by the production, use and meaning of textiles. When he died in 1957, the Myers’ collection included 3,100 textiles from Asia and Africa and 1,500 textiles from the Americas.

The aim of the museum was to expand public appreciation and knowledge of textiles in all their forms and diversity through research, publications, exhibitions and various educational programmes. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Textile Museum included over 19000 textiles from the six continents, a world class research collection of Oriental rugs, and the Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts, with some 20000 volumes.

For many decades the Textile Museum has produced a wide range of books, articles and exhibitions about carpets and textiles. These exhibitions take many different forms and themes. In addition, the museum has produced The Textile Museum Journal from 1962 until the present day. It is regarded as an important, academic journal within the field of textile studies (with a strong emphasis on woven textiles rather than decorative needlework items). Many of the articles presented in this journal are from the museum’s own collection.

In 2011, the Textile Museum joined with the George Washington University Museum and together they now regularly conduct regular exhibitions, study tours and educational events. Storage and care of the museum collection take place at the University’s Conservation and Collections Resource Center at its Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, and is open (by appointment) to researchers.

The Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW, Washington, DC, 20052 USA. Tel. +1 202 994 5200.

Digital source:

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 15 May 2021).


Last modified on Saturday, 15 May 2021 14:36