George Hewitt Myers Award

Detail of 5th-century coverOn Thursday evening, November 21, 2019, the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum will honor Dr. Thomas P. Campbell with the George Hewitt Myers Award for lifetime achievement in the textile arts. The award presentation and reception will take place at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. During the evening, guest speakers representing major museums and galleries will highlight Dr. Campbell's career accomplishments. Additionally, Dr. Campbell will deliver remarks sharing his insights on textiles, museums, and their futures. 

The George Hewitt Myers Award, named for The Textile Museum’s founder and given by the Board of Trustees, recognizes an individual’s lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the field of textile arts.

Individual seats will be available for purchase this autumn at $54 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are available beginning at $1,000. To learn more, please contact Danielle Tyson at [email protected] or 202-994-5242.

The 2019 George Hewitt Myers Award Honoree

With great pleasure, the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum will honor Dr. Thomas P. Campbell with the 2019 George Hewitt Myers Award for lifetime achievement in the textile arts. Recognized as the highest international accolade in the textile arts, the award acknowledges Dr. Campbell for his scholarship and museum leadership.

Over his thirty-year career, Thomas P. Campbell, PhD has dedicated his life to the preservation, study, and promotion of art as a gateway to human understanding. Campbell began his tenure as director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in November 2018. 

A distinguished art historian, he was educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute, University of London. He joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995 as curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, a textile conservation center holding the museum’s rich collections of textiles from 4,000 B.C. to the present. Campbell conceived and organized the acclaimed exhibitions Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence (2002) and Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor (New York, 2007; Madrid, 2008). The 2002 exhibition was named "Exhibition of the Year" by Apollo Magazine and its catalogue won the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award (College Art Association) for distinguished exhibition catalogue in the history of art (2003). 

Campbell served as director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from 2009 to 2017. During his tenure, he led a revitalization and modernization achieved through award-winning exhibitions and publications, major capital projects, and historic donations of works of art. Costume and textile arts were a major part of Campbell’s program. From 2009 to 2011 he oversaw the renovation, expansion, and reinstallation of a suite of galleries housing the museum’s renowned collections of Islamic art, including important carpets and other textiles, leading to significant growth in attendance of the galleries upon reopening. And in 2012 to 2014 he supported the complete redesign and renovation of the Costume Institute, including a major new exhibition space, a state-of-the-art costume conservation laboratory, an expanded study/storage facility housing the combined holdings of the Met and the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, and one of the world’s foremost fashion libraries. 

Under Campbell’s direction, the Met broke new territory with landmark costume and textile arts exhibitions, such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, China: Through the Looking Glass, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology organized by the Costume Institute, and Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800, a multi-department collaboration that was the first major exhibition of its kind.

During his tenure, the Met's attendance grew by more than 50 percent to a record seven million visitors a year, with audiences that are now more diverse than ever before. He elevated the Met’s national and international profile through conservation exchanges in the Middle East and India, ambitious loan exhibitions in China, Japan and Brazil, the launching of a biannual global museum directors’ colloquium, and a new international donor council.

Campbell has been the recipient of awards and fellowships, most recently the Getty Rothschild fellowship with residencies at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and at Waddesdon Manor in the UK, where he studied the impact of global changes on museums and the larger culture sector. He is the author of Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty: Tapestries at the Tudor Court, a reappraisal of the art and patron­age of the era, which was awarded the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2008.

Past Myers Award Honorees

  • 2018   Guido Goldman
  • 2016   Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada, artist and scholar
  • 2015   Bruce P. Baganz, museum leader
  • 2012   Walter Denny, scholar, educator and author
  • 2011   Milton Sonday, artist and scholar
  • 2010   Michael Franses, author and publisher
  • 2009   Mattiebelle Gittinger, scholar
  • 2008   Jon Thompson, scholar
  • 2007   Lloyd Cotsen, collector and philanthropist
  • 2006   Josephine Powell, ethnographer and photographer
  • 2005   Jack Lenor Larsen, textile designer

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