Angela Olson, [email protected]
The George Washington University
Chita Middleton, [email protected]
The Textile Museum
Washington, D.C.—The Textile Museum announced today that W. Richard West, Jr. has been appointed interim director, effective February 27. West was previously the founding director and is director emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.
“The Textile Museum is delighted to have someone of Rick West’s stature associated with the museum at this significant moment in our history,” says Bruce P. Baganz, President of The Textile Museum Board of Trustees. “Rick’s enthusiasm for joining The Textile Museum is a tribute to the strength of our present position and our promising future as the museum affiliates with the George Washington University. Rick’s distinguished career accomplishments will help guide The Textile Museum towards its full potential at GW.”
“I am honored to join the staff of The Textile Museum and help lead this institution towards a future with increased opportunities to expand its mission and share its cultural resources with new audiences as it integrates with the George Washington University,” says West.
As interim director, West will continue the transition to the future site of The Textile Museum. Beginning in 2014, Textile Museum exhibitions and programs will be presented in a new museum on the campus of George Washington University. Architectural plans are currently being developed for the museum building at G and 21st Streets, NW that will be joined with the historic Woodhull House, pending renovation. In addition, a 20,000 square foot conservation and resource center will be built on GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Loudoun County, Va., for the study and care of The Textile Museum’s and the university’s collections. Groundbreaking for both sites is anticipated for summer 2012.
West, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation of Oklahoma and a Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne, retired at the end of 2007 after 17 years as director of NMAI. West oversaw the creation, completion, and successful opening of the three facilities which comprise NMAI.
West was a past chair of the board for the American Association of Museums, the nation’s only membership organization representing all types of museums and museum professionals. Before directing NMAI, West practiced law in Albuquerque, NM and Washington, D.C. Additionally, West brings experience serving on the boards of trustees at numerous philanthropic, educational and cultural organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and Stanford University.
Over the next year, The Textile Museum anticipates establishing an international search committee with GW for the joint director of The Textile Museum and the George Washington University Museum.