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Tuesday, May 30 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Textiles) You Say You Want a Revolution? An Innovative, Low-Tack Adhesive Treatment for 18th-Century Silk Flags

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Flags and banners are our most patriotic national textiles. Often made of silk or thin wool bunting, they can be extremely fragile and require advanced conservation techniques for their preservation. 18th-century flags—scant few of which exist in the United States—present their own set of considerations. Revolutionary War-era flags are frequently painted and over-painted with oil-based, distemper, or other water-based paint that may have physically or chemically compromised the ground silk and resulted in flaking paint or loss of original material. American Revolutionary War-era silk flags can be remarkably sound compared to 19th-century silk flags; however they are frequently distorted and dished from use and display, presenting challenges for mounting. Due to these and other condition issues, conservators at Museum Textile Services have endeavored to find new techniques for safely stabilizing and mounting 18th-century silk flags. Our latest method is reversible, requires minimal handling and flipping of the flag, is successful with or without a sheer overlay, and is more time efficient. This presentation will illustrate this innovation with two c 1780 flags conserved in 2016, the Third Connecticut flag belonging to the New York Historical Society, and the Bucks of America flag belonging to the Massachusetts Historical Society and now on exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Pros and cons of this technique compared to other conventional methods of lining and mounting flags and banners will be discussed. Applications of this revolutionary labor- and resource-saving treatment to the conservation of other textiles will also be clearly illustrated.

avatar for Camille Myers Breeze-[Fellow]

Camille Myers Breeze-[Fellow]

Director & Chief Conservator, Museum Textile Services
Camille Myers Breeze began her textile conservation career in 1989 at the Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, New York. After earning a BA in Art History from Oberlin College, she received an MA in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles Conservation from the State University... Read More →

Tuesday May 30, 2017 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Crystal Ballroom C Lobby Level, West Tower

Attendees (105)