Melinda Watt leads the Art Institute’s Textiles department as Chair and Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator, a role she assumed upon joining the museum in 2018. She serves as curator for the 2021–2 exhibition Morris & Co.: The Business of Beauty and 2022’s Fabricating Fashion: Textiles for Dress, 1700–1825.
Before joining the Art Institute, Watt was curator of European textiles and supervising curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2017 she was awarded a professional exchange grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and in 2008 she received the R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for co-authoring and co-editing English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580–1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature.
Melinda holds a master of arts in costume studies from New York University.