November 09, 2015
WASHINGTON (November 9, 2015)—Bruce P. Baganz was presented with the George Hewitt Myers Award for lifetime achievement in the textile arts for his leadership and vision in transforming The Textile Museum. The Myers Award, named for The Textile Museum’s founder and given by the board of trustees of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, is recognized internationally as the highest accolade in the field of textile arts. The award was presented at a gala event at the Metropolitan Club on November 7, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The program included vocal performances by the National Broadway Chorus and members of the American Pops Orchestra.
Previous recipients of the George Hewitt Myers Award include scholar and educator Walter Denny (2012); scholar and artist Milton Sonday (2011); author and publisher Michael Franses (2010); scholars Mattiebelle Gittinger (2009) and Jon Thompson (2008); collector and philanthropist Lloyd Cotsen (2007); the late Josephine Powell (2006), an ethnographer and photographer; and textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen (2005).
Dr. Baganz is the president of the board of trustees of The Textile Museum and co-chair of the board of the George Washington University Museum. Through his vision and leadership, The Textile Museum affiliated with the George Washington University in May 2012. In March 2015, the museum reopened in new facilities housing the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum on George Washington’s Foggy Bottom Campus. The museum is supported by a state-of-the-art conservation and collections resource center on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.
“Bruce P. Baganz has been The Textile Museum’s greatest advocate since the museum’s founder, George Hewitt Myers,” said Thomas J. Farnham, a trustee and research associate of the museum, who presented the award on behalf of the board of trustees. “His efforts have guaranteed that The Textile Museum will not merely survive but will flourish.”
Under Dr. Baganz’s leadership of the board of trustees, The Textile Museum has maintained a balanced financial budget and worldwide recognition of its exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and its renowned collection. Through the museum’s association with the George Washington University, the university can integrate diverse graduate and undergraduate programs with the richness of The Textile Museum’s long history of art, scholarship, education, and the promotion of cultural understanding.
“I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the Myers Award honor, and by the support of so many friends who passionately share supporting this museum, its collection, and its mission,” said Dr. Baganz. “Collectively, we have done a wonderful thing for everyone who appreciates the artistic merit and cultural significance of the world’s textiles. In addition to an international audience, the academic community of the George Washington University will be beneficiaries for generations to come. It was my privilege to have been a leader, but it took a large, dedicated team to pull it off.”
Dr. Baganz is also chairman of the Near Eastern Art Research Center, a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for the Humanities, a member of the Board of Visitors, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, and a member of the World of Islamic Arts Committee at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He is an internationally known collector of antique carpets and textiles from the Middle East and Central Asia. In 2008 he received the Joseph V. McMullan Award for Stewardship and Scholarship in Islamic Rugs and Textiles, which is recognized as the most prestigious award in the field of oriental carpets.
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum opened on March 21 on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus. The custom-built museum displays The Textile Museum’s globally recognized collections of over 20,000 textiles and related objects, and pieces owned by the university, including the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts documenting the history of Washington, D.C.