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Friday, June 1 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(Textiles) Confronting Challenges and Considering Consensus in the Conservation of Eighteenth-Century Fashion

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This paper and presentation will focus on the conservation of an eighteenth-century French court dress and the research that this work inspired. Undertaken during a Fellowship at the Costume Institute, the treatment was an opportunity to consider broadly the conservation of garments from this time period. While there is no set of conservation methods or ethics unique to eighteenth-century costume, a collection survey of that century’s womenswear revealed certain patterns of degradation and common issues relating to both treatment and display. For example, how should conservators approach garments that have been altered, as so many eighteenth-century garments have been? Questions like this became the basis of a larger study of fashion conservation practice, drawing on both literature review and interviews with conservators in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. These not only provided an understanding of the range of possible solutions for the problems posed by eighteenth-century garments, but also shed light on a more abstract question: to what extent is there (or is there not) a consensus among conservators as to best practice for the conservation of fashion objects? Furthermore, do differences in approach lie along personal, institutional, or geographic lines?

avatar for Marina Kastan

Marina Kastan

Textile Conservator, North Carolina Museum of History

Friday June 1, 2018 9:30am - 10:00am MDT
River Oaks Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston
  6. Specialty Session, Textiles