Date of this Version
In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000
We are all committed to extending the knowledge of textiles. These papers offer outstanding examples of how museum curators, an academic, and a conservator have expanded audiences and brought new materials to telling the textile story. Major themes have emerged from their papers, and are worthy of further consideration.
First, it is quite apparent that professionals in museums need to work together. Harold Mailand has shown what the conservator can bring to the curator in the interpretation of textiles. I contend that textile department and costume departments should work together, and collaborate with other departments in their institutions. I am sure that many do this now..
Second, it is clear from Gayle Strege that costumes should be thought of as part of textile collections, and that flat textiles, those that are really draped clothing, should be viewed as such, literally. Again, this is an opportunity for collaboration. In university textiles classes students should have the opportunity to become engaged with the finished product, which could be an upholstered chair or a swimsuit. Karen Herbaugh, also made this clear for the museum exhibition. Why not see the whole picture from fiber through manufactured product and end use, and maybe even reuse. The story has a beginning and an end.