Textile Conservation Centre Foundation

Location: UK

Subject: Art & Design

Dates: 2010-2014

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To provide textile conservation education, research & practice

Project History

The Textile Conservation centre foundation was founded by Karen Finch OBE in 1975 at Hampton Court Palace. It uniquely combined three activities: textile conservation education, research and practice. Whilst it was at Hampton Court Palace, the TCC was academically affiliated to the Courtauld Institute of Art, which validated the Centre’s Postgraduate Diploma in Textile Conservation. In addition to this course the TCC also offered apprenticeships in tapestry and upholstery, in addition to welcoming interns and visiting scholars from around the world. In the mid 1990s to ensure the development of the TCC’s work the trust merged with the University of Southampton. From 1999 to 2009 the TCC enjoyed ten astoundingly successful years – which included training a more than 80 textile conservators and well over 100 curators on its MA courses in Textile Conservation and Museums & Galleries. Nearly a dozen MPhil/PhD students also successfully graduated in this time. The Centre’s securing of a prestigious AHRC Research Centres grant enabled it considerably to increase its research, as well as the academic and public dissemination of the results of that work. In 2009 the Textile Conservation Centre was closed by the University of Southampton. The new Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History was established by the TCC Foundation and Glasgow University. The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History was opened by HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the TC Foundation on 9th February 2011. This new Centre continues the work of the former TCC but also significantly extends it. The potential for future development is great and the Trustees feel that there could not be a better home for textile conservation education and research in the UK.

Project & ACE

ACE provides a two year bursary for a Textile Conservation Masters students. Our bursaries have enabled students from China, Singapore, Nepal, New Zealand, Hungary and Poland to study textile conservation and go on to pursue careers in conservation and research around the world.

Our most recent student Geraldine Sim has just finished her dissertation which focuses on the archaeological textiles in the collections of Shetland Museum. She will soon be heading back to Singapore to take up a post as the Heritage Conservation Centre in Singapore.

Our 2012/13 student Nora Mellor is now Assistant Conservator at the National Maritime Museum. She said of her Bursary., “the ACE Foundation made an education route available for me which led me to a profession I truthfully enjoy. At the Centre we received tuition of a very high standard, which gave us the practical skills and theoretical knowledge we needed to begin our careers.”

Our 2005 student Lu Zhiyong is in his final stagers of his PhD research, which he does alongside his job at the Shan’xi Archaeological Institute. His topic is Chinese Metal Threads of Famen Temple Silk.