Decorative Arts & Design History

Smithsonian Associates in partnership with
The George Washington University

Tanya Williams Wetenhall

Tanya Williams Wetenhall

Dress and Textile Histories

A specialist in dress and textile history, Tanya Wetenhall has advised and has worked as an independent consultant for museums and for private collections in the United States and Europe. For ten years, she ran a fine and decorative art appraisal practice in Florida. She has held teaching posts at New York University, The Fashion Institute of Technology and in George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. She lectures frequently on fashionable dress in paintings, Russian dress and textiles and artists designing for the stage. Her teaching encompasses dress history—both fashionable and world dress, ballet and theatre costume history, period styles and the decorative arts of France, Great Britain and Russia.

Courses Taught

Fashion in the Age of Revolution, 1700-1825

Recent Presentations Publications

“How British Ballet Design Revealed the Values of a Nation: 1925 to 1955.” The University of Glasgow, May 4, 2017.

“Che Bellezza!: 20th-Century Italian Designers and the Ebony Fashion Fair.” Gallery talk at the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., April 27, 2017

“Uncovering Timeless Stitches: Russian Dress and Textiles in the Collection of the Hillwood Museum, Estate and Garden.” The Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Annual Convention, “Fact”, Philadelphia, November 19, 2015.

“Reimagining George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a Conversation with Artist, Michele Oka Doner and Miami City Ballet’s Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez.” Lynn & Louis Wolfson, II Theater, Miami City Ballet Studios, October 29th and 30th, 2015.


Ph.D. Candidate, The University of Glasgow, History of Art
M.A. SUNY The Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory and Museum Practice
B.A. New York University in Slavic Studies: Russian Language and Literature; minor in Fine Art