Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History

Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History

What do we do?

The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History is a new Centre at the University of Glasgow – it was officially opened by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, in February 2011.


The Centre brings together existing areas of expertise in textile conservation and technical art history. Object-based, interdisciplinary research underpins learning and teaching. The Textile Conservation Centre Foundation has worked with the University to transfer the intellectual and physical assets of the former Textile Conservation Centre at the University of Southampton to the new Centre in Glasgow.

The Centre is the home of two postgraduate programmes:

The two programmes share accommodation and some teaching. There are also close links with the new programme:

There are also opportunities for PhD study in these subject areas.

Where are we?

The Centre occupies a whole floor on Level 3 of the University’s Robertson Building (C2 on the campus map).

The space has been newly refurbished. The self-contained accommodation includes workrooms for students and a wet lab, dye lab, chemistry lab and analytical lab.


Who are we?

Sarah Foskett is the Textile Conservation Tutor. She previously worked at Glasgow Museums as a textile conservator on the Burrell Collection Tapestry Project. Before that Sarah was a textile conservator at the National Museums Scotland from 1995 to 2008. She trained at the TCC at Hampton Court Palace. Sarah is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation and a committee member of the June Baker Trust.

Rebecca Gordon is the Research Assistant for the Research Network for Textile Conservation, Dress and Textile History and Technical Art History, funded by the Getty Foundation. She is working with the Technical Art History strand of the Centre, particularly in relation to modern and contemporary art. Her doctoral research examined the concepts of authenticity and material significance in contemporary art, with particular focus on the artist’s intent. She is responsible for the publication of the post-prints of the Research Network’s international conference ‘The Real Thing?’ The Value of Authenticity and Replication for Investigation and Conservation.

Erma Hermens leads the Technical Art History strand of the Centre and is the Convenor of the MLitt programme Technical Art History: Making and Meaning. Trained as a paintings conservator and with a PhD in the history of art from Leiden University, she has organised several international symposia in this interdisciplinary field. She is chief editor of the new on-line edition of ArtMatters: International Journal for Technical Art History, funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Frances Lennard leads the Textile Conservation strand and convenes the MPhil Textile Conservation programme. Until 2009 she was Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the MA Textile Conservation at the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC), University of Southampton. Frances has just completed a major collaborative project on tapestry degradation which was funded by the AHRC and has recently published a new book for Elsevier, Textile Conservation: Advances in Practice, co-edited with Patricia Ewer.

Anita Quye is a Lecturer in Conservation Science and works with both Textile Conservation and Technical Art History. She was previously Principal Conservation Scientist in the Department of Conservation and Analytical Science at the National Museums Scotland. Anita has a wealth of experience working as a conservation scientist within museums and working collaboratively on research projects with institutions worldwide. Her main area of research to date has been in historic textiles and modern materials analysis.

Rebecca Quinton  is Curator, European Dress and Textiles at Glasgow Museums, where she is currently researching seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dress. Prior to her appointment in 2003 she was Curator, Costume and Textiles at Brighton and Hove Museums. Whilst there she co-curated the Fashion & Style gallery.

Karen Thompson is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation, has worked in a wide range of textile conservation studios and museums in both the UK and abroad. She worked at the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton between 1999 and 2009 and was involved in both teaching on the MA Programme in Textile Conservation and in commercial practice. Her research includes the use of transmitted light photography to document hidden layers within textiles.

Students on all three programmes benefit enormously from the involvement of staff from Glasgow Museums, National Museums Scotland and other institutions within Scotland, and the opportunity to work with collections from local museums, including the University’s own Hunterian.