Street Address
150 W. University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
Mailing Address
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901
phone: 321-674-8313
fax: 321-674-8314
e-mail: textiles@fit.edu
web: textiles.fit.edu
Hours
Tuesday10 AM - 4 PM
Wednesday10 AM - 4 PM
Thursday10 AM - 4 PM
Friday10 AM - 4 PM
Saturday12 PM - 4 PM
Admissions
Free Admission
Free
Free. Donations Accepted.
Museum Type(s)
Art
Services
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Keidra Daniels Navaroli, Asst. Director and Curator
phone: 321-674-6129
Carla Funk, Director
Madeline Sweeney, Assistant Collections Manager
phone: 321-674-8875
Donna Sewell, Manager of Visitor Services
phone: 321-674-8313
Sarah Smith, Director of Collections
phone: 321-674-8875

Description

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts preserves and displays an international collection of textiles through rotating public exhibitions and educational programs. Highlighting the collection are traditional handmade textiles, embroidery, garments and related accessories from Africa, Japan, India and Central Asia; European and North American embroidery and samplers from the 16th through the 20th centuries; and contemporary wearable art and fiber arts. Florida Tech’s Ruth Funk Center is the only textiles center in the state and one of very few in the nation. The two-story center features 3,000 square feet of exhibition space, 2,500 square feet of collections storage and work space, 700 square feet for a mezzanine library and 600 square feet for a lobby and grand stairway. Our generous benefactor, Ruth E. Funk, has enriched the university through her vision and philanthropy. In addition to her financial support that has helped make this space possible, she has given Florida Tech hundreds of books and a lifelong collection of textiles and wearable art.

Mission

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology promotes the cultural understanding and appreciation for textiles, fiber arts and associated objects within the University and surrounding communities.

History

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts developed as a concept from shared goals between one donor, Ruth E. Funk, and University President, Dr. Anthony J. Catanese. After participating in Florida Tech’s “Dreamweavers” textiles exhibit and gala event in 2003, Mrs. Funk became interested in donating her own collection of international textiles to the University, along with a monetary donation to establish an endowment for lectures on the textile arts and a pledge of $1 million for a building to house and exhibit the textiles collection. The community response to this new Textile Arts initiative by the University was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. As momentum grew, the Office for Advancement worked to plan future programs. Mrs. Funk donated her extensive collection of books and journals to the campus Evans Library and she also donated hundreds of textiles, costumes and related cultural artifacts to the University. Advancement staff worked to properly store and catalog the collection, while also planning complimentary programs and exhibitions for the public. In the fall of 2006, the Funk Textiles Gallery opened in the Crawford Building with the mission of highlighting objects from the collection and offering free exhibits for the campus and surrounding community. At the opening of the Funk Textiles Gallery in October of 2006, President Catanese announced Mrs. Funk’s gift towards a free-standing campus textiles center. With that gift, plans for the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts began. The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts opened its doors with a Dedication Ceremony on August 29, 2009.

Artifacts Collections

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts’ growing permanent collection includes over 1,250 objects. Highlighting the collection are traditional handmade textiles, embroidery, garments and related accessories from Africa, Japan, India Central Asia, Europe, and North America ranging from the 16th through the 20th centuries; as well as contemporary wearable art and fiber arts. New acquisitions are selected to enhance the cultural and educational value of the Center’s collections with a view toward their utilization in exhibitions, publications, and public programs. The RFCTA preserves and displays an international collection of textiles through rotating public exhibitions and educational programs including its annual Friends of Textiles Lecture Series and Uncommon Threads Symposium, events for the campus community, volunteer opportunities and free admission for the general public. The Center also has a small educational hands-on collection composed of lesser quality items that are representative of the types of objects in our permanent collection. These items are used as hands-on components for demonstration purposes. The RFCTA operates on the premise that all of today’s students benefit from a greater cultural understanding of the world beyond our country’s borders. Preserving and displaying the permanent collection of global textiles is especially suited to Florida Tech. The Center serves a culturally-diverse, technically-gifted population of students representing over 100 countries around the world and comprising 25% of the student body.

Governance

The museum is administered by Florida Institute of Technology, and the university’s Board of Trustees, which is ultimately responsible for the operation of the museum. The Executive Vice President sets the policies for the museum based on recommendations of the Director of University Museums. The Director oversees its operation, and ensures that the museum is responsibly managed. The Director reports to the University Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, who reports to the President, and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees of the Florida Institute of Technology.

Publications

  • Monthly e-Newsletter
  • Tying the Knot: Global Wedding Costume and Ritual exhibition catalog (2014)
  • Florida in Fabric II exhibition catalog (2014)
  • Florida in Fabric: Wish You Were Here exhibition catalog (2012)

Services

Gift Shop

Group Tours