Jill D’Alessandro, Director and Curator of the Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion
Jill D’Alessandro is the Director and Curator of the Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum. Prior to her appointment in October 2022, D’Alessandro served as the Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) from 2002 to 2022. During her 21-year tenure in San Francisco, D’Alessandro developed over 25 exhibitions on a diverse variety of subjects, ranging from world textile traditions to twentieth- and twenty-first century fashion design. Recent projects include The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll (2017), Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2018), which she co-curated, as well as co-edited the accompanying exhibition catalogue, and Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy (2022), for which she served as curator and author of the exhibition catalogue. Notable exhibitions on textile arts include The Art of the Anatolian Kilim: Highlights from the McCoy Jones Collection (2011), On the Grid: Textiles and Minimalism (2016), and Kay Sekimachi: Student, Teacher, Artist (2016).
D’Alessandro earned her bachelor’s degree from Scripps College, Claremont California and her master’s degree from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA in textile arts. In 1998, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in South Korea, where she focused on traditional hand papermaking techniques and their application in contemporary art. As a curator overseeing global collections of both textiles and fashion, D’Alessandro is interested in the study of textile arts as a vehicle to draw connections across cultures.
Courtney Pierce, Curatorial Assistant
Courtney Pierce is the Curatorial Assistant for the Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum. Before joining the department in October 2021, Pierce worked for many years as a clothing buyer and visual merchandiser for a fashion company based in Los Angeles, California. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Colorado Denver, and her master’s degree in Art History from the University of Denver. Pierce has previously held internships in the Modern and Contemporary art department of the Denver Art Museum as well as with the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, where she served as a research assistant.
Stefania Van Dyke, Associate Director, Interpretive Engagement
Stefania Van Dyke is the Associate Director, Interpretive Engagement at the Denver Art Museum. Most recently, she was interpretation lead for Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, and for previous projects like Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, and Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio. Stefania is overseeing the reconceptualization of the Thread Studio, an exploratory space adjacent to the Textile Art and Fashion gallery. She has her bachelor's from Columbia University, master's in art history from the University of Chicago, and master's in education in museum education from Bank Street College of Education.
Starting in 2013, the Textile Art and Fashion department has produced several “companion guides” to exhibitions which have highlighted strengths of the permanent collection, the first covering the Charlotte Hill Grant Collection which consists of late-Qing Chinese court robes and accessories. The second companion guide is a survey of nationally-recognized eighteenth century to contemporary American quilts. The department’s most recent publication focuses on contemporary fashion acquisitions made in conjunction with current curator, Florence Müller’s inaugural exhibition in 2016.
- Alice Zrebiec, Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China’s Last Dynasty. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Alice Zrebiec, Companion to First Glance~Second Look: Quilts from the Denver Art Museum Collection. Denver Art Museum, 2014.
- Florence Müller with biographies by Jane Burke, Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90s. Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2016.
- Florence Müller with biographies by Jane Burke, From Paris to Hollywood: The Fashion & Influence of Veronique & Gregory Peck, 2021.
Browse more objects from the Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion department in our online collection.
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