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Textile Museum, the

2320 " S " Street N. W.
Washington, D.C.

Phone: 202-667-0441 --

Statement of Purpose:

Dedicated to furthering the understanding of mankind's creative achievements in the textile arts. Research, conservation, interpretation and exhibition of textiles with particular concern for the artistic, technical and cultural significance.

Located in Washington, DC The Textile Museum is devoted exclusively to the handmade textile arts.

Founded in 1925 the Museum presents several changing exhibitions each year that range from Oriental carpets to contemporary fiber art, giving our visitors a unique sampling of the richness and diversity of the textile arts. The Museum's collection focuses on textiles from the Eastern and Western Hemisphere excluding North America and Europe.

Highlights & Collections:

The Textile Learning Center (which opened September 15, 1997 and is ongoing) provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about how textiles are made and their cultural and artistic significance.

Two galleries comprise the Center:

In the Activity Gallery visitors can look, touch and try a variety of hands-on activities and learn where natural dyes come from or how to spin wool. The relationship of textiles to tradition, economy, environment and lifestyle is also highlighted.

In the Collections Gallery visitors can see a selection of the wealth and diversity of The Textile Museum's renowned collections of non-Western historic and ethnographic rugs and textiles.

Conveniently located near Dupont Circle, the Museum is in the historic, turn-of-the-century home of the founder of The Textile Museum.

Other attractions include spacious gardens behind the museum, and a gift shop stocked with a wide range of books and gifts from around the world.

The Textile Museum is devoted exclusively to the handmade textile arts with a collection of over 15,500 rugs and textiles dating from 3,000 BC to the present.. Due to the nature of textiles only a portion of the collection is on display at any given time. The Museum presents several changing exhibitions each year which range from Oriental carpets to contemporary fiber art, giving our visitors a unique sampling of the richness and diversity of the textile arts.

The Museum's collection of Oriental carpets is without equal in the United States.

Special strengths of the carpet collection include Turkish, Caucasian, Chinese, Egyptian (Mamluk), Spanish and Persian carpets. The Museum's collections of Coptic, Islamic, and pre-Columbian Peruvian textiles are also among the finest in the world.

Additionally, the Museum has significant holdings of the textiles of India, Indonesia, China and Africa as well as 20th century ethnographic textiles made by indigenous peoples of Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivian and the American Southwest.

Exhibits & Special Events:

The Textile Museum announces the following exhibitions.


Tribal Traditions: Village and Nomadic Weaving of Anatolia

August 25, 2000 ­ To Be Announced

Flatwoven rugs, grain and saddlebags are decorated with bold patterns and designs that identify their makers. While the names of many of these tribes have been lost, this strong design tradition remains throughout Anatolia (modern Turkey) and ties these beautiful weavings to the regions where nomadic ancestors settled. Created for the utilitarian purposes of transporting goods and covering the ground, Tribal Traditions will feature more than 20 flatwoven rugs and bags from The Textile Museum's collection. Four 4 of the major regions of Anatolia (Bergama, Konya, Malatya and Erzerum) and their classic designs will be explored.

Messages from Minus Time: Revolutionary Textiles of the Chavín Culture of Peru

September 15, 2000 ­To Be Announced

Considered to be the most important and influential early culture of ancient South America, the Chavín culture of ancient Peru dates back to 1500BC. Textiles were an important method of spreading information. The cotton textiles preserved on the south coast carry images of the

Chavín deities and of their transformations as well as abstract concepts. In addition to being great artists, the creators of the textiles were incredibly technically inventive and produced the first use of many textile structures and designs in the Americas: tapestry, painting of images, warp wrapping, and weft-loop pile. Drawn from The Textile Museum collection and private collections 17 Andean Chavín textiles are comparable in time and importance to the Dead Sea Scroll fragments of the Mediterranean cultures.

CALENDAR of EVENTS for the coming season   and         


Admission & Directions:

Free; but Suggested contribution: $5.00

Located in Washington, DC, The Textile Museum is only ten minutes northwest of the delightful Dupont Circle area. It can be found near 23rd and S Streets, in a very nice neighborhood near other museums and embassies. The Textile Museum is only a ten minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro subway station.


Key Personnel:

Ursula E. McCracken, Director

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