Sumru Belger Krody is senior curator at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Krody specializes in textiles from the late antique era and from the Islamic world. She has curated or co-curated 13 exhibitions, including A Nomad’s Art: Kilims of Anatolia; Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat; Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories; The Sultan’s Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art; and Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. She has authored or co-authored seven exhibition-related publications, along with numerous articles and book chapters. She also teaches courses in the Department of Art History at GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.
Born in Izmir, Turkey, Krody holds a bachelor’s degree in classical archaeology from Istanbul University and a master’s in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Textile Society of America and Centre International d’Étude des Textiles Anciens.
Tracy Meserve is the librarian for the museum’s Arthur D. Jenkins Library. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from GW and a master's in library science from the University of Maryland. Meserve formerly served as youth services manager at the Alexandria Public Library, a librarian at D.C. Public Library and a publications assistant at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Ruth Barnes is the Thomas Jaffe Curator of Indo-Pacific Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. She received a doctoral degree from Oxford University and was previously textile curator at the Ashmolean Museum, where she organized exhibitions on Asian and Islamic textiles, early Indian Ocean trade and the theme of pilgrimage. She also curated three new permanent collection galleries established for the Ashmolean’s reopening in 2009. Her publications include The Ikat Textiles of Lamalera: A Study of Eastern Indonesian Weaving Tradition and Indian Block-Printed Textiles in Egypt: The Newberry Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Her book Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles, co-edited with Mary Kahlenberg, received the R. L. Shep Award in 2010.
Dr. Birgitt Borkopp-Restle is professor of the history of textile arts at the University of Bern in Switzerland. She received a doctoral degree in art history from Bonn University in Germany. In 1993 she was appointed curator of the Department of Textiles and Costume at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich, where she curated exhibitions, published and taught at the universities of Augsburg and Bamberg. From 2005 until 2008, Dr. Borkopp-Restle served as director of the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne, while continuing to teach at the universities of Bonn, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Basel. Since 2009 she has established master’s and doctoral programs for the history of textile arts in Bern, and served as president of the Centre International d’Étude des Textiles Anciens. Her main subjects of research are medieval and early modern European textiles; the history of textile collections; the role of textiles in court ceremony and representation; and the exchange between East and West during the 16th to 18th centuries.
Dr. Walter B. Denny is a professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in fine arts from Harvard University. His primary field of teaching and research is the art and architecture of the Islamic world, particularly the artistic traditions of the Ottoman Turks; Islamic carpets and textiles; and issues of economics and patronage in Islamic art. Dr. Denny has held curatorial positions at the Harvard University Art Museums and the Smith College Museum of Art, and is currently the Charles Grant Ellis Research Associate in Islamic Carpets for The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Since 2007 Denny has served as senior consultant in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has curated more than two dozen exhibitions and authored more than 200 publications on Islamic art, including: The Carpet and the Connoisseur, How to Read Islamic Carpets and The Sultan's Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art. In 2012 he received the George Hewitt Myers Award for lifetime achievement in textile scholarship from The Textile Museum.
Dr. Mary Dusenbury is research curator at the University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art. A scholar on East and Central Asian textiles, she documented and oversaw the conservation and rehousing of the Spencer Museum's Asian textile collection; wrote the catalogue raisonné and curated an exhibition of the same title (Flowers, Dragons and Pine Trees: Asian Textiles in the Spencer Museum of Art). Dr. Dusenbury served as project director and editor for an international, interdisciplinary study of color in ancient and medieval East Asia, which culminated in the publication Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia. She received master’s and doctoral degrees in art history from the University of Kansas. She is a member of the Association of Asian Studies, the Textile Society of America (of which she has served as president), the Oxford Asian Textile Group and the Centre International d’Études des Textiles Anciens.
Dr. Sarah Fee is senior curator of global fashion and textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. She oversees the museum’s collection of textiles and related objects from Asia, Africa and the Islamic world. With training in anthropology and African studies, Dr. Fee's major research focuses on the island of Madagascar, where she lived for several years. She curated the exhibition Gifts and Blessings, The Textile Arts of Madagascar for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and, together with Georges Heurtebize, founded the Tandroy Ethnographic Museum in Berenty, Madagascar. Her interests have spread to the dress and weaving traditions of the Indian Ocean, including Southeast Asia, East Africa, Southern Arabia and India. Thematic interests include textile trades, cross-cultural appropriations of cloth, gender, ceremonial exchange, spinning and dye technologies. Dr. Fee is cross-appointed to the art department at the University of Toronto. She is a "chercheuse affiliée" at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, and served as a board director at large of the Textile Society of America from 2010 to 2014.
Esther Méthé graduated from the University of Alberta in Canada with a master’s of science specializing in textile conservation. In 1995, she became the head of the textile conservation laboratory at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. In 2002, Méthé was appointed Margaret Wing Dodge Chair in Conservation and chief conservator at The Textile Museum. Méthé returned to Canada in 2015, where she now conducts private consultation, treatment and research. She has lectured internationally, published articles in conservation and museum journals, and served as a member of various professional organizations, including the board of the North American Textile Conservation Conference.
Dr. Cristin McKnight Sethi is an assistant professor of art history at the George Washington University. Her research and teaching interests include South Asian art with emphases on textiles and folk art, the intersection of gender and practices of making, networks of circulation and exchange, the anthropology of art, and postcolonial theory. Dr. Sethi has published on contemporary craft in India, the history of natural dyes in Asia, and the production and circulation of folk embroidery during the late 19th century. Dr. Sethi has also held curatorial and research positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the UCLA Fowler Museum, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Margot Reed Silverstein is a master's student in art history at the George Washington University. She is working on a research project centered on images of Jewish blood libel and devil worship in the Middle Ages. She has formerly held positions and internships at the Jewish Museum, the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.