USF's Museum Blog

USF Hosts Global Textile Conservators


Conservators examining fibers at USF’s new Schiavo laboratory

On November 12 and 13 USF’s Museum Studies Program welcomed a group of 20 international art conservators to campus for a workshop in fiber identification in our new John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation. The workshop was part of the North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC), a biennial conference with training sessions and presentations held this year in San Francisco and co-chaired by textile conservators Beth Szuhay, of Chrysalis Art Conservation, and Densie Migdail of the Asian Art Museum. USF was among 11 sponsors of the conference, along with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum and other local institutions. The NATCC was founded in 1994 as an international forum to share research, theory and practice in the field of textile conservation, and foster collaboration.

USF students were inspired by their conversations with NATCC workshop participants from museums in Italy, Peru and Australia at a reception in Thacher Gallery.  The 2-day workshop provided participants with a basic understanding of fiber analysis, highlighting the optical properties of light that make using polarized light microscopy critical for identification.

Denyse Montegut overseeing students at USF.

Denyse Montegut, Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Fashion & Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology led the workshop. Montegut, a scholar of textile conservation, consults for the Guggenheim Museum. She pioneered the creation of fashion archives, having set up the one for Calvin Klein in 1996, and continues to consult for start-up archives. After meeting international conservators, students look forward to learning more about the fields of preservation and archiving, among other topics, in the spring course, Collections Management and Preservation with Paloma Añoveros. This class introduces collection stewardship and the fundamentals of preservation, essential skills for emerging museum professionals.

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