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Friday, June 1 • 8:30am - 9:00am
(Textiles) A Lot of Nitpicking; Documentation of Tom Welter’s painted silk battle flag encapsulation method and materials.

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Reconsidering the history of conservation is not solely about how things have been treated. Instead, by examining the decision-making process, which forms and informs future conservation treatments, we can gain context to fully understand and assess previous work. Tom Welter began to develop a method to encapsulate fragile silk battle flags in 1964 after a 3 day tutorial with conservator Katherine Scott. While Welter was very talented as an artist and mechanic he had no prior experience in textile conservation. The encapsulation treatment he developed, while invasive by today’s standard, was performed on more than 200 painted silk battle flags throughout the country. Innovative in application Welter’s ultimate goal of treatment was not just to consolidate but to make the flags available for use. Within this paper, a detailed documentation of the procedure developed by Welter will be revealed. Materials such as surfactants and adhesives will be identified. All information documenting the treatment procedure will be based on; Welter’s personal journal entries, written treatment documentation, physical evidence, and an oral history provided by his daughter Nancy Cyr. It is hoped that by documenting Welter’s encapsulation method, conservators and curators will be better informed to preserve these fragile silk battle flags.

avatar for Ann Frisina

Ann Frisina

Conservator, Minnesota Historical Society
Ann Frisina began her career at the Textile Conservation Workshop in 1989 where she spent three years under the guidance of Senior Conservator, Karen Clark. While at T.C.W. her work focused on flat 2-dimensional textiles ranging in sizes from small samplers, to larger quilts. Moving... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 8:30am - 9:00am MDT
River Oaks Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston
  6. Specialty Session, Textiles