Jennifer Swope's textile class stems from a lifelong interest in the subject. An avid knitter, she learned to batik and tie-dye in high school and taught these techniques as a student at Colorado College. After graduating, she worked briefly at Brunschwig & Fils, learning first-hand about furnishing textiles and their production, and then worked at McMillen, Inc., founded in 1924 and a significant influence in twentieth-century interior design. After internships at the Colorado History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Swope became a Lois F. McNeil Fellow at the University of Delaware's Winterthur Program in American Culture.
Jennifer Swope has worked in museums with American decorative arts for the past fifteen years. She has been a curator at Historic New England and has worked in the curatorial departments of several museums, including the New York Historical Society. While at Historic New England, Jennifer Swope curated several exhibitions, including one on shoes, and worked on historic interiors ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to those of the 1938 Walter Gropius House. She has published on the subjects of American church silver, American textiles and costume, and Native American costume. Her research in the Textile and Fashion Arts Department at the MFA has brought her interests full circle back to textiles.