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Seminars & Presentations

| Paper   | Collections   | Textiles   | Objects

The following list describes various seminars and talks available for presentation to your group or institution. All talks can be refined or adapted to meet your needs and areas of interest. Presentations are illustrated with slides or PowerPoint and can be expanded to include a hands-on workshop. Attendees are encouraged to participate in discussions of their particular concerns, needs, and interests. 

Paper Conservation-Condition and Treatment
This talk covers archival processing and housing of paper-based collections for private and institutional collectors. The talk covers: how to organize papers into collections; the use and design of “finding aids;” handling and accessing collections; housing options suitable for specific type of collections; climate control; typical conservation problems and solutions; contracting with framers and conservators; and other collection care resources.

Caring for Art Collections
This presentation is geared toward artists, collectors, curators, and dealers. The talk reviews all preservation issues including: climate control, exhibition, storage and handling requirements, typical conservation problems and solutions, contracting with framers and conservators, and other collection care resources.

Paper-Based Art and Material Permanence
For artists and collectors interested in understanding of the construction and preservation of sensitive paper-based materials, this talk includes: the history and science of papermaking and various media, the artist’s intentions or options in creating their art, the interaction of artists’ materials with each other and with the environment, the implications of permanence in marketability for artists, and financial investments for collectors.

Contact Susan Duhl
Tel: 610.563.8876

LIBRARY and ARCHIVES – for institutions
Creative Solutions to Collections Care
This talk compares art conservation-level standards with lower cost solutions to typical preservation problems for historical societies, libraries, archives, and other small to mid-sized institutions. The benefits and disadvantages of solutions for climate control, collections storage furniture, volunteer services, and other preservations will be discussed.

Contact Susan Duhl
Tel: 610.563.8876

George Washington Slept Here: The First 'Oval Office'
The showpiece of the newly-opened Museum of the American Revolution is the oval-shaped tent, or marquee that served as General George Washington's portable field office and sleeping quarters as his troops fought for the colonies' independence. An interdisciplinary team worked for five years to create an archival, adjustable structure–invisible to the visitor–to support the artifact and create the illusion of proper tension and accurately represent Washington's war tent.

Virginia Whelan was the textile conservator on the project. Her talk will describe the process and the materials used in its conservation and how the hidden support structure was designed to display the marquee with historical accuracy while protecting this important artifact. Museum visitors can view this rare, surviving textile that served the General who was to become the new nation's first President.

“Out, damned spot, out, I say!”
Caring for Your Textiles in Plain English

This PowerPoint presentation discusses basic care strategies and conservation guidelines for the non-specialist including identification & needs assessment, handling, and storage of the varied textiles typically found in historic houses or private collections (e.g. samplers, costumes, quilts, flags).

How to Read Your Sampler
The talk discusses the designs, motifs, materials and techniques used in early American samplers and pictorial embroideries to help participants identify their own needlework. Participants are invited to bring a sampler or embroidery (or a good photograph) to the workshop.

Contact Virginia Whelan
Tel: 610.664.1171

Art Conservation Seminars and Presentations







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