A while back, I was approached by a local museum about helping them with their textile collection, specifically the clothing. I demurred at first – I work on quilts, not clothing, and know little about managing a museum collection. With persistent encouragement from my “recruiter” and in recognition of the fact that a formally trained museum conservator isn’t likely to wander by and volunteer her services, I finally agreed to take this on.
And, just like in crazy quilts, old silk splits and shatters. Packing tape is NOT a recommended method for stabilization.
My first priority will be to remove surface dust and then place most of these dresses into storage until I can work on them. I’ll be creating couple of new exhibits using textiles that have been in storage, along with reorganizing some of the standing displays.
Oh, and emptying out the Amazon.com bookshelves on the subject of costume display and history.
I’m still in the brainstorming stage, so if you ever had a burning question about or interest in clothing (1850’s – present), here’s your chance to share your thoughts!