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Historic Deerfield is pleased to announce that Lauren Whitley, Ph.D., has joined the museum’s staff as the Curator of Historic Textiles and Clothing. Whitley started in the position earlier this month.
John Davis, Historic Deerfield’s President, commented that “Lauren brings energetic and creative leadership for the exhibition, research, and publication of one of the finest collections of American and European textiles and clothing in the United States.” The museum’s textile collection includes historic clothing and accessories, flat, woven textiles, bed hangings, quilts, coverlets, needlework, carpets, upholstered furniture, and textile processing tools spanning some 400 years, from c. 1600 to 2000. One of Lauren’s first projects will be a reconceived installation plan for the Helen Geier Flynt Textile Gallery in the Flynt Center of Early New England Life.
Whitley worked for many years as Senior Curator in the Department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and in 2020 received the honorary designation of Senior Curator emerita. While at the MFA, Boston Lauren curated several exhibitions, most notably Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories and Hippie Chic, which were both accompanied by publications. Most recently Lauren consulted as an independent curator on collection and exhibition issues with the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. Lauren has also taught many textile and fashion history courses at the Massachusetts College of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Lasell College.
Whitley holds an undergraduate degree in art history from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, a master’s degree in fashion and textile studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and recently completed her Ph.D. in Humanities at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.