The Pacific barkcloth team had a busy week at the beginning of April. We welcomed our advisory panel members for a visit - together we examined some of the barkcloths from the Hunterian collection, discussed the work in progress and heard reports from the three researchers, Historical Research Associate Dr Andy Mills, Scientific Research Associate Dr Margaret Smith and Conservation Researcher Misa Tamura, demonstrating the enormous progress towards the research goals made by all three in the first year of the project.
The meeting was followed by the Museum Ethnographers Group 2017 conference, hosted by the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History and the Hunterian Museum. We were very pleased to welcome delegates from around the UK and Europe as well as from the USA, Australia and New Zealand to the conference. Presentations over two days focused on artefacts from a huge range of cultures around the world including a Tahitian mourner’s costume, Crowfoot regalia, Guatemalan weaving, indigo dyed textiles, and barkcloth from Africa and Indonesia as well as the Pacific.
Pacific barkcloth was a significant focus. Our own researchers discussed aspects of their work: Dr Adrienne Kaeppler talked about cultural signatures which aid identification of Polynesian barkcloths; Dr Mark Nesbitt and Brittany Curtis discussed the textiles collected by the 1867 voyage of HMS Galatea, and Dr Andy Mills spoke on the making practices of combining barkcloths into large sheets, and their resonance with the later division of cloths for ceremonial purposes as well as by European collectors. Other collections of Pacific barkcloth also featured, including those of National Museums Scotland and Aberdeen University Museums. Please see details of the programme on the MEG website – some of the papers will be published in the Journal of Museum Ethnography.
Delegates were able to enjoy a whistle-stop tour of the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History one lunchtime, or could spend time assessing some interesting ethnographic objects from the Hunterian collection, and en route admiring the new Kelvin Hall search room facilities. The conference reception was held in the Hunterian Museum and was a great opportunity to see the museum displays, catch up with old friends and to meet new colleagues. The conference was a fascinating and inspiring two days, ably organised by Andy Mills, supported by Isabel Robinson, the barkcloth project administrator, and a team of student volunteers.
The conservation programme for the project is supported by Mphil students from Centre for Textile Conservation working with us as conservation volunteers.
In this blog post at the Textile Conservation: A blog about textile conservation at the University of Glasgow, four student volunteers share their experiences with working on the Pacific barkcloth from the Hunterian Museum and Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Follow the link for the article:
On 17 March 2017, the barkcloth team joined the students and facluty members of CTCTAH to host the Open Day 2017. The centre welcomed the visitors and showcased numerous projects carried out here. The barkcloth lab was opened to the visitors with some of the barkcloths and barkcloth production tools on show. We communicated the progress of the research to the public and professional colleagues. It was a pleasure to talk to the engaging and interested audience.
Read more about the day on the CTC blog, posted by Cecilia Voss on:
The Centre for Textile Conservation and this project are proud to announce that tickets are now on sale for the 2017 conference of the Museum Ethnographers Group. We are co-hosting this year's MEG conference with our University of Glasgow colleagues at the Hunterian. The conference theme this year is Cloth & Costume in Ethnographic Museums: New Directions in Research, Care & Interpretation. As you can see, we have had an important influence on this year's theme, and we are looking forward to a number of fascinating papers on world barkcloth, Pacific textiles, and a wide range of cloth and costume traditions from the Americas, Africa and Asia too. There will be opportunities for delegates to tour the Centre for Textile Conservation and meet the Centre's staff, including our team; to see some of the highlights and mystery textiles from the Hunterian's ethnographic collections in Kelvin Hall's wonderful new collections research facilities; and to view a selection of archival films from the collections of the Royal Anthropological Institute that explore dress, adornment and costume around the world. Come and join us on the 6th and 7th of April for two days of stimulating papers, discussion and networking. Also, don't forget to book your place for the conference dinner at Mother India, a Glasgow institution and one of the UK's most loved Indian restaurants. Visit the conference Eventbrite page to book your tickets.
Visit the MEG 2017 Conference page for more information on the programme and travel directions to Kelvin Hall and Glasgow's west end.