The Columbus Museum Begins Local Tour with an Exhibition Celebrating Textiles

Staff Report

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

The Columbus Museum has begun its tour around the Chattahoochee Valley, bringing exceptional exhibitions and engaging programming to collaborating partner venues in the area during its renovation. The tour kicked off its first exhibition, A Ribbon Runs Through It: Textiles from The Columbus Museum, at the Columbus State University Illges Gallery in the Corn Center for the Visual Arts. The show is now open and runs until March 4, 2023.

This exhibition features highlights from the Museum’s textile collection, as well as material culture and imagery of the region’s textile manufacturing history. The history of the Chattahoochee River Valley is thoroughly intertwined with the history of textiles in the region. The first local textile mill opened in 1833, sparking a wave of production that harnessed the power of the river. After the Civil War, textile manufacturing dominated the region’s economy, and in many ways its culture, for more than a century. Over time, The Columbus Museum has acquired a variety of textile pieces with high aesthetic value. Dawn Williams Boyd, Jonathan VanDyke, and Paolo Arao are such creatives working at the intersection of fine arts and fabric. The Chattahoochee Valley’s textile history also manifests the engaging work of Columbus-born contemporary artists Anna Betbeze, Martha Clippinger, and Coulter Fussell.

“This project has been a great opportunity to share some of Columbus’ textile manufacturing history, while also showcasing several noteworthy textile pieces from the Museum’s collection,” said Museum Curator of History and Exhibitions Manager Rebecca Bush. “Textiles can be made for long-term practical use while still being visually pleasing, and it’s exciting to feature both elements.”

The curators, in collaboration with Columbus State University, have also commissioned artist Sheila Pepe to create a site-specific installation in tandem with the show, which can be seen in the Schley Gallery. Pepe is an artist and educator living and working in Brooklyn, New York and is best known for crocheting her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by the W.C. Bradley Company.

While the Museum is on tour, visitors are encouraged to participate in the passport program. Adult and child passports are available and will guide guests to the many exhibitions and venues throughout the tour. Passport stickers can be acquired by gallery attendants onsite at each venue. At the end of the tour, participants can redeem their completed passports for prizes, a discount in the Museum shop, and a special sneak peek of the reimagined Columbus Museum! Pick up your passport at the Museum - 1327 Wynnton Rd., Columbus, GA or at tour venues.

For more information regarding the exhibition A Ribbon Runs Through It, or the Museum on Tour, please visit