The Textile Conservation Centre

Update on the new Centre

Three members of staff have recently been appointed to the new Centre at the University of Glasgow and took up their posts in August: Frances Lennard, Dr Anita Quye and Sarah Foskett. They are joining Dr Erma Hermens from History of Art.

Erma Hermens leads the Technical Art History strand of the Centre and is the Convenor of the MLitt programme Making and Meaning: Approaches in Technical Art History. Trained as a paintings conservator and with a PhD in the history of art from Leiden University, she has organised several international symposia in this interdisciplinary field. She is chief editor of the new on-line edition of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and to be launched this autumn.

Another new programme, MLitt Dress and Textile Histories, is being led for the first year by Elizabeth Hancock from History of Art.  Her specialist areas of interest are decorative arts and design history, particularly furniture and furnishing textiles. Students on this programme will share some teaching with the textile conservation students.

Frances Lennard leads the Textile Conservation strand and convenes the new MPhilTextile Conservation programme which is beginning this month with a full cohort of students from the UK and overseas. Until 2009 she was Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the MA Textile Conservation at the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), University of Southampton. Frances has just completed a major collaborative project on tapestry degradation which was funded by the AHRC and has recently published a new book for Elsevier, Textile Conservation: Advances in Practice, co-edited with Patricia Ewer.

Anita Quye has been appointed Lecturer in Conservation Science and works with both Textile Conservation and Technical Art History. She was previously Principal Conservation Scientist in the Department of Conservation and Analytical Science at the National Museums Scotland. Anita has a wealth of experience working as a conservation scientist within museums and working collaboratively on research projects with institutions worldwide. Her main area of research to date has been in historic textiles and modern materials analysis.

Sarah Foskett is the Textile Conservation Tutor. She is from Glasgow Museums where she has been a textile conservator working on the Burrell Collection Tapestry Project. Before that Sarah was a textile conservator at the National Museums Scotland from 1995 to 2008. She trained at the TCC at Hampton Court Palace. Sarah is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation and a committee member of the June Baker Trust.

New premises are being made ready for the Centre and will be shared by students on the textile conservation and technical art history programmes. Students on all three programmes will gain enormously from the involvement of staff from Glasgow Museums,National Museums Scotland and other institutions within Scotland, and the opportunity to work with collections from local museums, including the University’s own Hunterian Museum. There are also opportunities for PhD study in both subject areas.

Object-based, interdisciplinary research will be an important aspect of the new Centre which will bring together existing areas of expertise in conservation and technical art history. History of Art has been awarded almost £100,000 over two years by the Getty Foundation, to fund a Research Network in Textile Conservation, Dress and Textile History and Technical Art History. Frances Lennard and Erma Hermens will launch this international network in January 2011 with the aim of creating new collaborative research projects.