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Research program by UCLA Fowler Museum

The Anawalt Center for the Study of Regional Dress

The Anawalt Center for the Study of Regional Dress—an endowed research facility composed of offices and a laboratory located within the Fowler Museum—opened on June 6, 1993.

The aim of the Center’s program is to advance the study of cloth and clothing traditions, past and present, through teaching and research. Students, working with the Fowler Museum’s outstanding textile collections, investigate all facets of worldwide indigenous dress: the varying aesthetics of regional clothing, the range of technological solutions to cloth production and decoration, and the role of dress in defining social, religious and political identities.


In the Center’s “Textiles of the World” undergraduate course (WAC 133), many of the world’s great textile-producing cultures are investigated in quarterly rotation: Amazonia, The Americas, Central Europe, Indonesia, Japan, The Near East and West Africa. These are hands-on classes where students not only have an opportunity to learn the rudiments of weaving but are able to work with examples from the Fowler’s outstanding collection of more than 15,000 ethnographic textiles.


Dr. Patricia Rieff Anawalt (March 10, 1924 – October 2, 2015), was the founding director of the Center, and was an authority on Mesoamerican clothing as well as worldwide regional dress. She was the author of The Worldwide History of Dress, available in English and in nine foreign editions including Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish.

The Anawalt Center for the Study of Regional Dress

Fowler Museum at UCLA
Box 951549
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1549

Phone: (310) 206-7005
Fax: (310) 206-7007

Image Credit: From the exhibition, Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe: A History in Layers

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