The Textile Museum

Detail of cushion cover, Turkey, The Textile Museum 1.54

The Textile Museum was established in 1925 by collector and connoisseur George Hewitt Myers to expand public knowledge and appreciation—locally, nationally, and internationally—of the artistic merits and cultural importance of the world's textiles through scholarship, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Today, its collections of more than 20,000 textiles and related objects represent five millennia and five continents, including cultures from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The 20,000-volume Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts is one of the world’s foremost resources for the study of textiles. Scroll through the galleries below to learn more about The Textile Museum collections.

Collections Highlights

Detail of coupled-column Ottoman Torah curtain, Egypt, The Textile Museum 16.4.4

Oriental Rugs

The Textile Museum has one of the most important research collections of Oriental carpets, distinguished by both its range and depth.

Detail of ceremonial mantle, North America

Indigenous Americas

The Textile Museum has one of the world's best collections of pre-Hispanic Peruvian textiles, as well as extensive holdings of modern textiles that descend from these traditions.

Detail of fragmentary roundel, Egypt, Late Roman Period, 4th century, The Textile Museum 71.10

West Asia and Egypt

The Textile Museum has outstanding late-antique textiles, and its collections of eighth- to thirteenth-century Islamic textiles are among the world's finest.

Detail of robe, Central Asia

West to South Asia

Highlights from this region include fourteenth- to nineteenth-century silk masterpieces from Spain and the Ottoman, Safavid/Qajar, and Mughal empires, and one of North America's largest ikat collections.

Detail of throne cushion cover, China

East and Southeast Asia

The Textile Museum's Asian collections feature more than seven hundred Chinese textiles that date from the third to the twentieth century. Highlights from Southeast Asia include some of the finest Iban textiles in the U.S.

Detail of Noblewoman's ceremonial overskirt, Shoowa people, The Textile Museum 24.4

Africa

The Textile Museum has a large collection of African textiles representing diverse textile traditions.

On View

Detail of ikat from The Textile Museum collections

Selections from The Textile Museum Collections

You can always find a rotating selection of objects from The Textile Museum collections on view in the museum's lower-level galleries, including many objects that have rarely or never before been displayed.

Expansive Visions: GW Collection Past, Present, Future

Organized by GW's Luther Brady Art Gallery and presented in the museum's lower-level galleries, this exhibition traces GW's history and evolution as a presenter of contemporary art through highlights from the university collection.

Ahead of his Time

The Collecting Vision of George Hewitt Myers

Learn more about The Textile Museum's history and the vision of its founder, George Hewitt Myers. 

Arthur D. Jenkins Library

The library's 20,000-volume, multilingual collection offers artistic, cultural, historical, and technical information related to textiles, rugs, and costume.