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Title: Stuff happens : a material culture approach to textile conservation
Author: Eastop, Dinah
ISNI:       0000 0001 1625 0942
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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Textile conservation, defined here as the preservation, investigation and presentation of textiles, is often viewed largely as a technical and aesthetic problem. This research develops an alternative view by understanding objects as being subject to both material and social change. The dynamic aspects of this material and social process is emphasised as ‘stuff happens’. This research proposes, and provides evidence for, a material culture approach to textile conservation, and demonstrates its development and application. An analysis of case studies shows how the material and the social interact at the point of assessment and intervention. Examination of the material aspects of textile conservation reveals that social values influence decision-making. Values held at the time of conservation are shown to depend on the categories used. Investigation of these categories demonstrates that any anomalous quality of the textile undergoing conservation allows for contestation of social values. As values change over time, analysis of each conservation assessment and intervention reveals a comparison of values held at different times viewed retrospectively. The resulting approach is centred on the interaction between things, persons and language where each mediates relations of the others. It is argued that this material culture approach enhances understanding of the dynamic material and social environment of textile conservation principles and practices.
Supervisor: Brooks, William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GN Anthropology ; TT Handicrafts Arts and crafts