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By the end of this academic year, GW students and art fans from around the region will be able to visit a world class collection of textiles and historic artifacts. The university announced that the new museum structure at 21st and G streets NW, which will house the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum, will open on March 21, 2015.

Since announcing that the Textile Museum would join its museum in 2011, GW has constructed a 46,000 square foot arts center that will house rugs and textiles from the Near East, Africa, and indigenous cultures of the Americas as well as the university’s Washingtoniana collection of nearly 1,000 objects related to the history of D.C.

Three exhibitions from the existing collections will open the museum: “Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories” from the textile collection, plus “The Civil War and the Making of Modern Washington” and “Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790–1801” from the Washingtoniana collection. Visitors will also be able to see the Albert H. Small Gallery, which houses historic maps of Washington. The opening is still five months away but in the meantime, check out this preview video.

Photo courtesy of GW