Highlights Tours

Free docent-led tours of the galleries are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m.

All Programs by Date

Photo of GW student dance troupe performing at the museum
Dancers perform at the members' October 2011 reception for the museum's "Weaving Abstraction" exhibition. Photo by Kevin Allen.

Educational programs include lectures, films, gallery talks, workshops, and more, and are held at the museum unless otherwise indicated. Keep reading for a full list of our upcoming offerings.


Lecture: The Story of Cotton and the Indian Subcontinent

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 12:00pm

Join Karthika Audinet as she traces the origins of cotton from the Indus Valley Civilization to the inimitable fine muslins of Dhaka.

Fake News? Hamilton Rumors and Truths

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 5:00pm

Join our panel of experts for short talks on Alexander Hamilton and his impact on Washington, D.C., followed by a Q&A and curator-led tour of the exhibition "Breaking News: Alexander Hamilton."

Lecture: The Ottoman Heritage in Austro-Hungarian Costume and Textiles

Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 2:00pm

Curator and scholar Joyce Corbett will illuminate influences on costume and textiles during the 150-year long Ottoman Turkish occupation of the greater Austro-Hungarian Empire (1541–1699). A collaboration with the International Hajji Baba Society.

Student Presentations: Washington, D.C., History, Culture, and Politics

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 12:00pm

GW students present their original research after a semester of working with the museum’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, among other local repositories.


Consultations: Ask a Curator, Ask a Conservator

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Visitors can learn more about their own textiles from museum curators and conservators.

Lecture: Jewish Brides, Grooms, Merchants, and Craftsmen in Central Asia

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 5:30pm

Alanna Cooper, director of Jewish Lifelong Learning at Case Western Reserve University, examines images of the Jews taken by photographer A. L. Kun, who documented regions of Central Asia when they came under Russian control in the late nineteenth century. A collaboration with the GW Department of Judaic Studies.

Lecture/Show-and-Tell: The Origins of Weaving

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 10:30am

Museum Trustee and collector Wendel Swan will examine how, where, and why weaving with animal fibers began and its importance—from the domestication of sheep through the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

Lecture: The D.C. Oral History Collaborative

Monday, May 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

The D.C. Oral History Collaborative aims to preserve the memories of D.C. residents by making oral history recordings accessible, and providing tools to conduct quality interviews.

Film: "China’s Guizhou Ethnic Groups, Part I: Preface, Miao, Bouyei, Dong"

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 12:00pm

This documentary, the first half of an eight-part series, explores the origins, rituals, and elaborate dress of three minority cultures in Southwest China.

Lecture/Show-and-Tell: Caucasian Prayer Rugs

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 10:30am

Prayer rugs had important social and religious significance in the Caucusus and are prized for their beautiful colors and designs. Collector Austin Doyle will offer guidance on how to identify colors, structure, and other features to distinguish origin.

Special Hours: Arthur D. Jenkins Library

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 11:00am to 3:00pm

Take advantage of Saturday hours at the library to conduct research or browse hard-to-find print and visual resources on global textiles and traditional dress.

Lecture: Asian Students in D.C. Public Schools During Segregation

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:00pm

Examine how forgotten school yearbooks and other unusual sources can reveal the experiences of Asian and Asian-American students in D.C. public schools during the years of segregation.

Gallery Talk: Plush Life in Ikat Velvet

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 12:00pm

Massumeh Farhad, chief curator and curator of Islamic art at the Freer|Sackler, will discuss the production of ikat velvets in late nineteenth-century Central Asia through examples on display in "Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat."

Art Museum Day

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

The museum will offer special activities in celebration of Art Museum Day.

Demonstration: Bundle Dyeing

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 12:00pm

Join textile artist An-Phuong Ly as she discusses various plants and flowers used as natural dyes and explores the ways that color can be extracted.

Discussion and Tour: Indigo, Blue Star of the Orient

Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 10:30am

International lecturer and traveler Jenny Balfour-Paul will give an illustrated overview of indigo, followed by a show-and-tell and a special tour of the galleries to examine and discuss varied examples of indigo-dyed textiles from Asia.

Lecture: Chasing Indigo from the Skyscrapers of Yemen to Manhattan

Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 2:00pm

In this illustrated talk, international lecturer, traveler, and dyer Jenny Balfour-Paul relates her journeys in both the history and modern revivals of natural indigo that began on the Red Sea Coast of Yemen. A collaboration with the International Hajji Baba Society.

Lecture: Comprehending Khipus and the Wari World

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 6:00pm

In a richly illustrated talk, Jeffery Splitstoser, the world’s leading scholar on Wari-style khipus (recording devices made entirely of fiber) will present recent research that reveals similarities and differences between ancient South America’s first empires. A collaboration with the GW Department of Anthropology.

Discussion: Naturally Dyed Textiles

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 12:00pm

Participants will explore some of the dyes and resulting colors featured in the new "Textiles 101" interactive gallery. A collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Film: "China’s Guizhou Ethnic Groups, Part II: Tujia,Yi, Shui, Gelao"

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 12:00pm

This documentary, the final half of an eight-part series, explores the origins, rituals, and distinctive dress of four of Southwest China's minority cultures.


Film: "A Visit to China’s Miao Country"

Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 12:00pm

Eleanor Coppola shot this documentary in the southern region of China, revealing the extraordinary textile traditions of the Miao culture.

Workshop: Ikat Binding and Dyeing

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Try your hand at the involved dye-layering process of ikat in a step-by-step, hands-on binding and dyeing workshop led by Christina P. Day, professor of fiber and sculptural studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Lecture: Tourism, Change, and the Textile Economy Among the Miao in Guizhou

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 5:30pm

Join Center of Asian Studies Director (University of Colorado) Tim Oakes to reflect on the changes he has witnessed conducting research in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province over the past thirty years.

Gallery Talk: Displaying Historical Textiles and Costumes

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 12:00pm

Associate Conservators Cathleen Zaret and Elizabeth Shaeffer discuss their conservation treatment and mount preparations for the current exhibitions "Binding the Clouds" and "Vanishing Traditions."

Special Hours: Museum Shop

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Take advantage of these special hours at the museum shop. Please note that the museum galleries are closed on Tuesdays.

Film: "A Visit to China’s Miao Country"

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 12:00pm

Eleanor Coppola shot this documentary in the southern region of China, revealing the extraordinary textile traditions of the Miao culture.

Lecture: "Greetings from Hometown Washington, D.C.!"

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 5:30pm

Join Jerry A. McCoy, special collections librarian at the D.C. Public Library, for a look at unusual vintage postcards of Washington, D.C., and the stories behind the local sites depicted on the cards.