Textile museum receives new collections, endowment totaling more than $18 million

The Textile Museum will receive an $18.4 million dollar gift consisting of more than 4,000 textiles, an endowment and equipment to support the museum’s research and scholarly projects, according to a University release Thursday.

The fund will be used to conduct research and “influence educational opportunities” at the University and Textile Museum, according to the release. The endowment and gifted textiles, which come from regions like Africa, Asia and the Middle East, were assembled by late Lloyd Cotsen, the former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Neutrogena Corporation.

“The mission of the museum at the George Washington University aligns perfectly with Lloyd’s vision to inspire interdisciplinary research and scholarship that focuses on textiles,” said Margit Sperling Cotsen, Lloyd Cotsen’s widow and a trustee of the Cotsen 1985 Trust and chair and founding director of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching.

The gift will also be used to provide an endowment named after Costen, called the “Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection Endowment” to further develop new programs that “emphasize research, scholarly projects and professional outreach,” according to the release. The Costen Trust also gave the Textile Museum an additional 137 larger textiles, including rugs from China and Anatolia, Greek embroidery and “works by international contemporary artists,” the release states.

The gift will also help fund a new space in the museum named the “Costen Textile Traces Study Center,” an area that will allow students and scholars to use “state-of-the-art equipment” and research the gifted textiles, according to the release.

“We are grateful to Margit Sperling Cotsen and the trust for their gift of these magnificent collections and the establishment of an endowment to support them,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release. “The collection enhances the University’s continuing commitment to advancing research, education and cultural understanding across all disciplines.”

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