The third thematic workshop in the IIC International Training Centre for Conservation (IIC-ITCC) series successfully opened on 14 November. With the focus on textile conservation, 23 mid-career conservation professionals, representing a spectacular variety of backgrounds from around the world, have been selected to attend this intensive hands on workshop. The workshop took place for the first time in the newly established ‘Hospital for Conservation’ at the Palace Museum, also the largest science institution for heritage conservation in China. Prior to the opening ceremony, participants were privileged to be given a preview of the Hospital guided by Dr Jixiang Shan, Director of the Palace Museum.
For nine days, the participants worked closely with instructors Sarah Staniforth, Dinah Eastop, Mary Brooks, Austin Nevin, Diana Collins, and the specialists from the Palace Museum. Beginning with lectures presenting current approaches to preventive conservation and non-destructive analysis of textiles, followed by practical sessions, demonstrations, case studies and group discussions allowing participants to develop a thorough understanding of the key principles and themes in the practice of textile conservation which are required to formulate and execute appropriate conservation treatments for textile objects at their institutions.
Some of the case studies drew on the comprehensive textile collections of Palace Museum, an institution with a longstanding reputation for the care of, and research into imperial textiles in China. Participants also enjoyed the exceptional opportunity to view the museum’s major exhibitions as well as some textiles from storage and conservation studios equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
The workshop was a precursor to the international symposium themed on ‘Unroll and Unfold: Preserving Textiles and Thangkas to Last’ held in Hong Kong on 24-25 November 2017. Jointly presented by IIC, Palace Museum and Leisure and Cultural Services Department in Hong Kong, this platform enabled participants to further develop a valuable professional network for advice and resource, as well as sharing knowledge and experience with hundreds of textile conservation specialists worldwide.
A full report on these exciting events will be available on the IIC website soon.