Cotsen Textile Traces Talk: Denim

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 1-2 p.m.
1971 poster showing a large crowd at an outdoor music festival

Poster (detail), Levi Strauss & Co., 1971.

Join researcher William Chaudoin on a journey that reveals the impact denim textiles have had on laborers, rebels and the broader cultural landscape. Today, denim is not confined to its original scope: It spans the globe in various hues, shades and customizations. At the heart of our celebration is the recognition that all denim is not created equally. 

This talk is inspired by the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center’s micro exhibition, “Denim,” which explores the intertwined traditions of Japanese and American denim. A small selection of objects traces denim's evolution from a working-class garment in the 19th century to a symbol of American youth culture in the 1960s and 1970s to new styles that revive traditional artisan techniques.

About William Chaudoin

William Chaudoin is a second-year student at GW pursuing a M.A. in art history. For the past two years, he has served as an exhibitions and curatorial assistant at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Chaudoin has also brought his expertise to Neptune & Brown as a gallery intern for the past year. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Italian from Vassar College. 

About Micro Exhibitions

Visit the museum’s lower-level galleries to see a rotating selection of artworks from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection. Inspired by contemporary culture and world events, these monthly micro exhibitions are collaborative projects with GW faculty, students and special guests.

About the Center

The Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center is home to one of the world’s most significant textile study collections. Assembled by the late Lloyd Cotsen, it consists of nearly 4,000 fragments of textiles created around the globe and dating from antiquity to the present, as well as some 100 sample books. Scholars, faculty, students and artists are invited to schedule a research visit, and the entire collection is accessible online. The center also presents rotating gallery displays and public programs inspired by the collection. Learn more about the center

How to Participate

This program will be in a hybrid format. Join us in person at the museum or register to watch the livestream online via Zoom. When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

Join virtually or in person at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum 701 21st St. NW Washington DC 20052

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