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New museum in Washington, D.C., blends capital's history and textiles

Textile Museum and G.W. University Museum open in one building Saturday with three inaugural exhibitions.

The newest museum in Washington, D.C., has one building (sort of) and two names: The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum. The building in the city's Foggy Bottom area opened Saturday with displays of very different artifacts.



11 a.m., March 25: An earlier version of this post had the incorrect opening date for the building. It opened Saturday.


The Textile Museum, which has been around for nine decades, brings more than 19,000  textiles and carpets from six continents, according to a statement. The George Washington University Museum will feature 1,000 historical maps, books and documents about the history of Washington, D.C.

The building too is a blend. The university built a new 46,000-square-foot arts complex attached to the renovated Maxwell Woodhull House, which was built in 1855.

The Washingtoniana Collection, as it's known, was contributed by Albert H. Small, president of the real estate and construction company Southern Engineering Corp., the statement says.

It includes a poster from 1865 that says "$100,000 Reward! The Murderer of Our Late Beloved President, Abraham Lincoln" and a Currier & Ives lithograph of the Washington Monument.

Three exhibitions are on display: "Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories" covers three floors of the museum and will remain until Aug. 24. It includes rugs from parts of Asia and Africa as well as modern items like beaded Converse sneakers that show Native American pride.

Two Washingtoniana shows deal with the layout of the nation's capital: "Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790-1801" and "The Civil War and the Making of Modern Washington." Both will remain on display through Oct. 15.

The museum is open 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. An $8 donation is suggested as admission.

Info: The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st St. NW; (202) 994-5200

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