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Grant number: PG-258325-18

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Bostonian Society (Boston, MA 02109-1702)
Sira Dooley Fairchild (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Bostonian Society Textile Collection Conservation Survey

An assessment by a professional textile conservator of a collection of approximately 100 textiles and costumes, dating to the 18th century, to be highlighted in the newly interpreted exhibition. The examination would focus on condition assessments, handling requirements, museum mounting recommendations, and required conservation needs to ensure safe display of the textile collection, which includes the velvet jacket, embroidered waistcoat, silk shirt, and breeches worn by John Hancock when he was inaugurated as governor of Massachusetts and other important pieces, such as the original Liberty Tree Flag that was hung from Liberty Tree in Boston in the year leading up to the Revolution.

The textile collection at the Old State House museum is one of the most important and evocative subsets of the object collection. The museum is currently undergoing a large-scale process of inventory, condition assessment, and gap analysis to support an upcoming reinterpretation. The textile collection comprises more than 200 objects dating from the 17th to the 20th century. A collection assessment was last conducted in 1988, after which poor and damaging storage conditions were rectified. This grant, if successful, will allow us to engage a textile conservator to conduct a condition survey of the textiles in the collection and provide us with treatment plans and cost estimates for conservation. As textiles will be featured in the new exhibits, this project is an essential step towards building a complete picture of our object collection. We will also take this opportunity to rehouse any textiles stored in substandard conditions.

Project fields:
Public History; U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019