The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum has named Camille Ann Brewer its first full-time curator of contemporary textile art. The curatorial position was funded through a $500,000 five-and-a-half year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to advance the museum’s new contemporary art efforts.
Ms. Brewer assumed her position this month. Her primary focus includes building a new contemporary collection; organizing exhibitions; working with artists on special projects; and engaging GW students and faculty in developing research projects and educational opportunities. Ms. Brewer will also serve as the museum’s primary liaison to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.
Most recently, Ms. Brewer was the executive director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium at the University of Chicago, and brings with her extensive knowledge of contemporary textile art and experience consulting, curating and collections building.
“Camille Brewer brings our museum a wealth of experience in the world of contemporary textile art,” said John Wetenhall, director of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. “A weaver herself, Camille understands the prominent place of the fabric medium in the contemporary art world, as well as how the museum’s vast holdings in historical textiles can relate. We are especially grateful to the Mellon Foundation for making Camille’s appointment possible.”
The Mellon grant is part of the museum’s work to build on its commitment to contemporary textile art, which includes efforts such as the recent “Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora,” and the Voices of American Design lecture series of prominent designers and artists.
Ms. Brewer will use the museum’s diverse collections of historical material—including textiles from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the indigenous cultures of the Americas—to help inform the development of a new collection of contemporary textile art. While The Textile Museum has presented contemporary-focused exhibitions in the past, it has not previously built a collection in this area.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious appointment and to help the museum as it broadens its dedication to contemporary fiber art,” Ms. Brewer said. “For close to 20 years, I have been a member of and visitor to The Textile Museum, and I am thrilled to be a part of the museum’s growth at GW and in this new collecting area.”