The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is pleased to announce Florence Müller, highly-regarded fashion and art historian, as the museum’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art, Curator of Fashion. Müller’s extensive experience with museums and collections in France and as an independent curator has led to the curation and contribution to more than 100 exhibitions worldwide, including the 2012 Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective exhibition for which the DAM was the exclusive U.S. venue.
Relocating from France to Denver, Müller will oversee the Neusteter Textile Collection, housed in the 7,500-sq.-ft. Textile Art Gallery on level six of the museum’s North Building. Upon joining the staff in September 2015, Müller will develop a strategic approach to expanding the current holdings to include costume and fashion of the 20th and 21st centuries.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Florence back to Denver,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director at the DAM. “Her extensive experience and creative eye for exhibition content and design, as seen in the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition, makes her an outstanding addition to our team and to the Denver community. I especially look forward to her role in growing our collection in the area of fashion.”
Since the 1980s Müller has worked on numerous major exhibitions that have debuted in Europe, Asia and beyond, including Dior, the New look Revolution, Yves Saint Laurent Style, Impressions Dior, Costume Jewelry for Haute Couture, Belles en Vogue, Inspiration Dior, Mode et Art, Madeleine Vionnet, Mode et Libertés and many others. Most recently, Müller curated Esprit Dior which opened in Shanghai and then traveled to Tokyo and Seoul.
Other major projects include co-screenwriting for the film Histoire du Look, a series of five films about fashion from the Roman period to the present; serving as a fashion advisor for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Award; consulting on an Air France uniform project, which included a comparative study of uniforms from major airlines around the world and advising on design before the creation of the new uniform designed by Christian Lacroix; creating a new inventory system for the Musée du Textile et du Costume in Wesserling, France; conducting the first European digital database of a costume collection; and serving as the curator and later the director of the Union Française des Arts du Costume in the prestigious Musée des Arts de la Mode in the Louvre.
“I am very pleased to work at the wonderful DAM, one of the major encyclopedic museums in the U.S. with an ambitious program,” said Müller. “This museum is served by leading architectural signatures and the most wonderful human and professional group of contributors. It's a perfect chance to express how textile and fashion are essential actors of our contemporary culture and for further understanding the history of civilizations."
When Müller was in Denver for the Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective exhibition in 2012, she also noted, “I was impressed by the stylish atmosphere of Denver during the launch of the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition and discovered a huge interest for creation among a very educated audience. Denver is a city full of fresh energy and vitality connected with its traditional roots."
Beyond her curatorial practice, Müller is an experienced writer, freelance journalist, consultant, juror and professor. She has worked with luxury fashion companies like Dior, L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Céline. Müller has authored more than 20 publications and countless articles for museum catalogues and magazines such as SURFACE, High Fashion, art press, Beaux Arts Magazine, Mix(t)e and more. Since the 1980s, Müller has been a professor in the discipline culture of fashion at the French Institute of Fashion (IFM).
Müller has three times been awarded the Grand Prix du Livre de Mode (Grand Fashion book prize) by the University of Fashion in Lyon, France, for the publications Yves Saint Laurent, Excentriques and Baskets. Müller studied Worldwide History of Art and Archaeology at the École du Louvre, Paris, and received a master’s of art history and archeology from the University of Paris.
About the Denver Art Museum’s Textile Art Collection
The collections of the DAM’s department of textile art encompass more than 5,000 objects from Asia, Europe, North and South America and range from archeological textiles to contemporary works of art in fiber. The collection began in 1927 with the gift of a Kashmir shawl the museum’s first recorded non-American Indian textile. It expanded dramatically between 1955 and 1992, assisted by the creation of the Neusteter Fashion, Costume and Textile Institute in 1962, which for ten years helped support acquisitions and promote artistic appreciation of the collection.
In 2013, a package of transformative gifts enabled the DAM to provide a more expansive textile art experience for visitors. A major gift from Avenir Foundation enabled the museum to endow the Textile Art department as well as renovate and expand both its public gallery spaces and storage spaces for textiles. Museum trustee Nancy Lake Benson provided funding for the hands-on Thread Studio inside the new gallery spaces. A gift from the William H. Donner Foundation funded the PreVIEW space, which allows visitors to watch fiber art conservation take place in the gallery. Selections of the Textile Art collection are presented on level six of the North Building.
About the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.