In his speak at ACOR on 22 April 2006, Daniel Walker, The Textile Museum’s Director, told the audience that Josephine Powell would receive the George Hewitt Myers Award 2006.
On 12 May The Textile Museum officially announced: “Josephine Powell, internationally renowned ethnographer, photographer and expert on nomadic weaving and traditions in Turkey, is the recipient of the 2006 George Hewitt Myers Award. Named for The Textile Museum’s founder, the award for lifetime achievement recognizes her exceptional contributions to the study and understanding of the textile arts. Powell will be honored and presented with the Award at a Tribute Dinner to be held Thursday, October 19, 2006 in Washington, DC.”
Josephine Powell is born in 1919. Her extensive travel as a freelance photographer included fieldwork in the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and North Africa, including a horseback journey in the western Afghanistan. Her photographs have been published in hundreds of books.
In the 70’s and the 80’s Powell photographically documented the nomadic way of life in Anatolia. During that time she began collecting Anatolian kilims, bags and bands, and the collection reflects the importance of the weaving culture in rural Anatolia.
In the 80’s Josephine Powell, working with the German chemist Harald Böhmer, played a major role in the DOBAG project.
“Josephine Powell’s work in documenting the last of the Anatolian nomadic traditions and their flatwoven textiles is a remarkable ethnographic accomplishment”, says Bruce P. Baganz, President of the Textile Museum’s Board of Trustees.
Josephine Powell’s archive contains some 35,000 slides, ethnographic objects and publications and constitutes an extremely valuable collection on Anatolian folk culture according to The Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey (Tarih Vakfi).
For more information om Josephine Powell and her work read Marla Mallett’s article “Center for Anatolian Ethnography and Textile Studies in Istanbul”. The article includes 24 photos of rural and nomadic life in Anatolia by Josephine Powell.
Jozan Magazine 21 May 2006