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.

January

Book Talk: "Reimagining Historic House Museums"

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 5:30pm

Editors Max van Balgooy and Kenneth Turino will share the common factors that create a sustainable path forward for our country’s historic places, drawing on examples from their new anthology, "Reimagining Historic House Museums."

Gallery Talk: Chair Coverings from the Qing Dynasty

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 12:30pm

Discover two exquisite chair covers from imperial China. These textiles were extremely costly and reserved for special occasions.

Film Screening: "Yellow Is Forbidden"

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 5:30pm

Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei chases her dream to become part of the elite world of haute couture. (2018, 97 minutes)

Display and Discussion: The "Sister Artists" Connect Africa and the U.S. Through Quilts

Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 12:00pm

Sister Artists is a unique partnership between American quilters and survivors of gender-based violence in Mali. For one day only, see the Sister Artists quilts on display and meet the project creators.

Special Hours: Arthur D. Jenkins Library

Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

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: D.C. Slave Escapes Through Bladensburg

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 12:00pm

Douglas McElrath tells the stories of enslaved people who escaped captivity through Bladensburg and northwest Washington between 1790 and 1850.

Gallery Talk: Fragments of an 11th Century Egyptian Textile

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 12:30pm

Dumbarton Oaks Fellow Ilgin Nas will unlock the meaning behind designs in an early Islamic textile fragment.

February

Lecture: African Americans Serving in Contraband Hospitals

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 12:00pm

National Library of Medicine Curator Jill Newmark shares the story of a D.C. hospital that treated black soldiers and civilians during the Civil War, and the African American nurses and surgeons who served there.

Consultations: Ask a Curator, Ask a Conservator

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Bring in textiles that you own for a consultation with museum experts.

Exhibition Preview: "George Washington and His World"

Friday, February 7, 2020 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Join GW student curators for gallery talks and a preview of the exhibition "George Washington and His World."

Lecture/Show and Tell: A Collector’s Favorites from Persia to Anatolia

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 10:30am

Collector Gordon Priest shows pile rugs, wagireh, khorjin, and yastiks from the late 19th century tribal, village, and nomadic production of Persia, Kurdistan, the Caucasus, and Anatolia.

Lecture: Washington, D.C., During the First Congress

Monday, February 10, 2020 - 12:00pm

William "Chuck" diGiacomantonio explores the evolving dynamic of the District through letters and accounts from senators and residents.

Gallery Talk: Carol Cassidy and Laotian Weavings

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 12:30pm

Our docents will explore Laotian weaving through the traditional skirts of the Lue people, as well as contemporary reinterpretations.

Gallery Talk: Silk Skirts of Burma

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 12:30pm

Discover what wealthy and fashionable Bamar women wore for special occasions in 19th-century Burma (present-day Myanmar).

Curator Tour for Members: "Delight in Discovery"

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 12:00pm

Join fellow museum members for a tour of "Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen" with exhibition curator Lyssa Stapleton.

Curator Tour for Members: "Delight in Discovery"

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 11:00am

Join fellow museum members for a tour of "Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen" with exhibition curator Lyssa Stapleton.

Special Hours: Arthur D. Jenkins Library

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

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.

Poster Session: Textile Research Day

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Local university students and recent graduates share their research on textiles from studies in anthropology, art history, conservation studies, and other fields.

Film Screening: "Bill Cunningham New York"

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 5:30pm

New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham obsessively and inventively chronicled street style and high society. (Zeitgeist Films, 2010, 84 minutes)

March

Book Talk: "No Access Washington, D.C."

Monday, March 2, 2020 - 12:00pm

Beth Kanter and Emily Pearl Goodstein expose the unknown and unseen parts of D.C., from secret alleys to hidden caverns to artistic hideaways.

Consultations: Ask a Curator, Ask a Conservator

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Bring in textiles that you own for a consultation with museum experts.

Lecture: The Slaves Who Built D.C.

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 12:00pm

Historian Lina Mann tells the stories of enslaved individuals who built the iconic buildings of Washington, D.C., including the White House, U.S. Capitol, Post Office, Patent Office, and many others.

Gallery Talk: Fakes and Forgeries in Textile Fragments

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:30pm

This week, visit "Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen" with Jenna Campolieto and see if you can identify which fragments are forgeries or fakes.

Lecture: Hidden History in Foggy Bottom’s Alleys

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 12:00pm

Expert Washington tour guide Carolyn Crouch shares the unique history of the museum's neighborhood, Foggy Bottom, and its many secrets and untold histories.

Gallery Talk: Selections from "Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen"

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 12:30pm

This week, Academic Coordinator Marie-Eve Celio will show you highlights from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection of fragments dating from antiquity to the present day.

Film Screening: "RiverBlue"

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 5:30pm

Paddler and conservationist Mark Angelo documents the extensive impacts of the global fashion industry on waterways. (Paddle Productions, 2017, 95 minutes)

Family Day: Japanese Fashion Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday, March 21, 2020 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Celebrate Japanese fashion at this family day featuring colorful clothing, accessories, and dances from Japan.

Lecture: The Exorcist’s Washington

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 12:00pm

Join David Wilt, GW lecturer in film studies, to uncover the real events in 1940s Washington, D.C., that inspired the horror film.

Gallery Talk: Lia Cook’s “Attitude”

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 12:30pm

This week, Curator of Contemporary Art Caroline Kipp will introduce you to the work of American fiber artist Lia Cook through her 1999 piece "Attitude."

The Quilt Phenomenon

Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 10:30am

Rebecca A. T. Stevens, the museum’s retired consulting curator of contemporary textiles, will trace the journey of the quilt from bedcovering to a contemporary art object.

Lecture: History of the State Department

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 12:00pm

Historian Seth Rotramel explores the origin and evolution of the State Department, one of the original U.S. departments.

April

Book Talk: “The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution”

Monday, April 13, 2020 - 12:00pm

Author Lindsay Chervinsky shares the story of George Washington’s creation of the Presidential Cabinet.

Film Screening: “Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell”

Monday, April 20, 2020 - 12:00pm

Filmmaker Cintia Cabib will screen and discuss her new documentary exploring the lives and work of two accomplished but unsung African American women artists who lived and worked in Washington, D.C.

May

Book Talk: "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home”

Monday, May 4, 2020 - 12:00pm

Richard Bell discusses his new book, Stolen, which shares the troubling story of five free young men kidnapped from their home in Philadelphia and their courageous journey back to freedom.