Textile Museum receives gifts totalling nearly $5 million in new collections, endowment

Media Credit: Rachel Schwartz | Assistant Photo Editor

The gift will fund an endowment for the display and upkeep of the equestrian textiles and a series of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities.

The Textile Museum received a series of three new gifts, including a combination of nearly $5 million worth of historical artifacts and endowment support, officials said in a release Sunday.

Two donors – former museum Board of Trustees member Judy Brick Freedman and her husband Allen R. Freedman – gave the museum 100 equestrian textiles, like horse back riding items like saddle blankets and other trappings, along with a new endowment. The estate of former trustee Joseph Fell also donated about a $5 million gift to the Textile Museum’s endowment.

“The Freedman and Fell families’ philanthropy has bolstered The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum’s global profile and secured its future as a destination for experiencing art and textiles from around the world,” interim University President Mark Wrighton said in the release. “We extend our gratitude for their support and commitment to the museum.”

The gift from the Freedman’s will fund an endowment for the display and upkeep of the equestrian textiles and series of internships, fellowships, student scholarships and guest lectures.

Officials said they plan to launch a “major exhibition” to showcase the new equestrian textiles in 2026 – the Year of the Horse in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar.

“The endowment that Judy and Allen Freedman have established, together with their funding for the 2026 exhibition and publication, will ensure that these magnificent works will be studied and displayed for generations to come,” Textile Museum Director John Wetenhall said in the release.

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