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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
103. (Textiles) Seam or evidence?

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The shirt General Francisco Villa wore the day he was murdered in Parral, Chihuahua on July 20, 1923, arrived at the Textile Conservation Lab of the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museum Studies (ENCRyM) "Manuel del Castillo Negrete", for study and conservation treatment as part of an academic process.

The garment is now part of the Mexican cultural heritage because its important relation to one of the highest representatives of the Mexican Revolution, and because it is a direct evidence of an important moment in the history of Mexico.

At the time of Villa ́s autopsy, his clothes were removed and handed to Austreberta Renterıá, one of Villa’s wives. Conflicts emerged after the general’s death, due to personal interests, government and legal issues, among others.These clothes were the only tangible possession that Austreberta could keep in remembrance of the man she loved. It is believed that as an act of affection, she washed and mended the shirt trying to minimize the traces of blood and the evidence of bullets that ended their history together, thus becoming a sentimental keepsake for the widow of the leader. In 1965, she donated the clothes to the National Museum of History.

During the study of the shirt, a theoretical discussion took place at the ENCRyM: to respect the second historicity of the piece by not removing the seams made by Villa ́s wife, or to remove them to highlight the historical facts. As conservators and restorers we confronted the disagreement, weighing values, intervention and evidence. After the analysis of the case from various theoretical positions, a proposal for the intervention was developed, based on values and needs, taking into account Villa‘s life trajectory and context.

avatar for Martha Contreras Sainz

Martha Contreras Sainz

Teacher, ENCRyM
Assistant Professor at the Textile Conservation workshop at ENCRyM, the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museum Studies in México City

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Textiles
  • Cost Free!
  • Poster # 103