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Seminars & Presentations
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. 

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



sampler and George Washington's tent





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