New fellowship enhances art conservation program
Caterina Florio has been awarded the inaugural Isabel Bader Research Fellowship in Textile Conservation at Queen's. Ms Florio will work with the Queen's University Collection of Canadian Dress at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre for three months.
“I’m excited for this beautiful opportunity given to me,” said Ms Florio. “The Fellowship offers a great sharing opportunity, a collaboration between different institutions and the opportunity to work with such an interesting clothing collection. In particular for me it has been an honor to be the inaugural recipient, because I personally take it as a welcome to the Canadian textile conservation community.”
Ms Florio, who is currently in Florence, will come to Queen’s to work with Art Conservation graduate students, and she will use the collection to research how the public perceives conservation treatments of textiles.
“We were really impressed with her research proposal,” says Alicia Boutilier, a member of the selection committee and the Curator of Canadian Historical Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “Historical movies depict costumes in perfect condition, but dresses from the actual time period can be stained or frayed. Understanding what condition of clothing the public will accept on display will help us with our own exhibitions.”
Ms Florio’s Fellowship begins in January, 2011. She is a graduate of the Istituto per l'Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Spinelli program in textile, tapestry and rug conservation in Florence, and has a Master’s degree in textile and costume conservation from the University of Florence. She has also had internships in Poland and Malta.
The Queen's Collection of Canadian Dress was started in 1937 by Dr. Margaret Angus. It was originally an assortment of costumes for the Queen’s drama department, but when historical dresses started arriving, it transformed into a museum collection. The collection now has more than 2,000 articles of fashion from the early 1800s to the 1970s and is housed in a climate controlled environment thanks to the generosity of Dr. Isabel Bader.