Speaker: Ann Svenson, Textile Conservator in Practice
When: June 28, 2012
THE DAMASCUS ROOM IN CONTEXT: ACQUISITION, FURNISHINGS, CONSERVATION
A colloquium celebrating the opening of Shangri La's Damascene interior to the public on July 7, 2012
Ottoman velvet cushion covers are among a group of complex woven textiles existing in collections throughout the world, yet there is very little in topical literature that describes the highly technical accomplishments that these cloths represent. During the preparation of the Damascus Room for public opening, several Ottoman velvets in the DDFIA collection were made available for a close inspection of weave structure and fiber use. Unfortunately, all of the examined pieces were too fragile for an invasive examination whereby fibers are manipulated under the microscope. Nonetheless, digital images taken during treatment do reveal significant issues of fiber use, thread preparation and weave structure. This presentation will offer this new material for consideration and will also provide a brief overview of the conservation challenges encountered during the preparation of the velvets for display.