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Melinda Watt

Photograph of chair and curator Melinda Watt.

Melinda Watt leads the Art Institute’s Textiles department as Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator, a role she assumed upon joining the museum in 2018. She is curator of Gio Swaby: Fresh Up, opening in April 2023, and recently served as curator for the 2021–2 exhibition Morris & Co.: The Business of Beauty and 2022’s Fabricating Fashion: Textiles for Dress, 1700–1825.

Before joining the Art Institute, Watt was curator of European textiles and supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She was a curator and author for the museum-wide collaborative exhibition and publication Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800 (2013-14), and in 2008 she received the R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for co-authoring and co-editing English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580–1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature

Melinda holds a master of arts in costume studies from New York University.

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