Today I’m delighted to announce a new partnership that will bring the world-renowned collections of the Textile Museum to George Washington’s Foggy Bottom Campus.
These collections will become a cornerstone of a new George Washington University Museum, soon to be constructed and scheduled to be open in 2014. This collaboration between our two institutions will create extraordinary opportunities for students, faculty, and scholars, as well as for the general public. It will allow George Washington scholars to integrate these spectacular collections into a wide range of academic studies, including history, art history, anthropology, museum studies, and the study of the numerous regions from which the Textile Museum’s extraordinary artifacts have originated.
When it opens a few years from now, the George Washington University Museum will also feature the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection and the Center for National Capital Area Studies. In February, I was honored to announce Mr. Small’s generous gift of his unparalleled collection of materials documenting the history and development of Washington, D.C. Mr. Small is here with us today and I would like to ask that he stand and be recognized.
In addition to the museum itself, the university will construct a new facility dedicated to the study and care of the museum’s historic collections. This state-of-the-art conservation and resource center will be located on our Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.
As the largest university in the nation’s capital, George Washington enjoys partnerships with a wide range of cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Phillips Collection, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Shakespeare Theater Company, in addition to our own collections at the Gelman Library and the Brady and Dimock art galleries. Our new affiliation with The Textile Museum and the construction of the George Washington University museum reaffirm the university’s role as a vibrant center for cultural and artistic discovery and discourse.
The Textile Museum is, in fact, one of the world's foremost specialized museums. Every year visitors come from around the world to view the magnificent collections it has amassed since its founding in 1925. Its educational programs, including both formal lectures and intimate workshops, allow visitors to experience the variety and wonder of the textile arts. We at George Washington are honored and, frankly, thrilled that this unique cultural and scholarly resource will now grace and enrich our campus.