Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One Stitch at a Time

By Stephen Loughman, Preparator

The gems of our quilt collection are currently on display in our exhibition Unfolding Stories: Culture and Tradition in American Quilts. Many of our quilts have previously been on display and were consequently already prepared for installation. However, one of our more important quilts, Trade and Commerce, had just returned from conservation (made possible with a grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network) and needed to be prepared for exhibition. All of our quilts have new acid-free fabric attached to the back of the quilt to protect it while on display, and to which we can affix hanging mechanisms. Our quilts in Unfolding Stories are hung with Velcro, which is attached at the top of this backing fabric so that there is no harm to the quilt from the Velcro.

Trade and Commerce also hangs on a very large slant, 8 feet by 9 feet to be exact, in order to reduce the pull of gravity on its fragile threads. The slant was built in two sections since I needed to be able to move it from my office on the 3rd floor of Fenimore down the stairs to the Clark Gallery. Once downstairs the two sections were attached and the whole slant was covered in felt fabric. The felt gives “tooth,” providing yet another layer of gravity resistance. The quilt looks fantastic in its new home, and I think its safe to say that visitors to the museum have been thrilled to see our masterpiece quilt on display once again!

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin