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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Breton Collar

by Conservation

5/7/2015

conservation , textiles , textile conservation , Elizabeth Nourse , Fashion Arts & Textiles , American Painting & Sculpture , Cincinnati artists

This embroidered lace collar was collected by Cincinnati artist Elizabeth Nourse (1859-1938) on one of her trips to Brittany.  Nourse was well-known for her portraits of common people, including Breton peasants in regional costumes, wearing items such as this.  Our textile conservator is shown here mounting the collar on a custom-made padded board using super-fine stainless steel insect pins (size 0, if anyone is curious).  This gentle mounting method allows the collar to cling to its support mostly by the tooth (that’s a fancy way of saying the “grippy-ness) of the fabric, while a few pins insure that it maintains contact.  This week, we are installing it in Gallery 213 with a selection of Nourse’s sketchbooks and other items, including a Breton lace bonnet she also collected.