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New Washington museum combines textiles and D.C. history

WASHINGTON — Washington’s newest cultural destination, the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, opened in mid-March on George Washington’s Foggy Bottom campus.

The new museum brings together the Textile Museum’s collections of more than 19,000 non-Western textiles and carpets and the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection of 1,000 artifacts documenting the history of Washington, D.C.

The opening marked the final step of a more than three-year process that brought the 90-year-old Textile Museum and Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection to a new museum complex on campus.

The new complex, the largest university museum in the District of Columbia, includes 46,000 square feet of newly constructed museum and exhibition space attached to the 7,000-square-foot renovated historic Woodhull House.

The museum includes dedicated space for each collection, the Arthur D. Jenkins Library, the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies and the museum shop.

The new museum’s inaugural three exhibitions span more than 2,000 years of art, history and culture and include the largest exhibition in the Textile Museum’s history — “Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories” — covering three floors and featuring more than 100 artworks that span five continents.

The two Washingtoniana exhibitions feature “Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790-1801” and “The Civil War and the Making of Modern Washington.”