Princess Royal opens Centre for Textile Conservation

Published: 8 February 2011

HRH The Princess Royal officially opened The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow on 9 February.

HRH The Princess Royal officially opened The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow today (Wednesday 9 February).

Founded by The Textile Conservation Centre Foundation (TCCF) and the University of Glasgow the new teaching and research facility – the only resource of its kind in the UK – succeeds the Textile Conservation Centre at the University of Southampton which closed in 2009.

The new Centre will focus on multidisciplinary object-based teaching and research that encompasses conservation and the physical sciences as well as art history, dress and textile history. It will be the first time that conservation training has been undertaken in Scotland and, combined with Glasgow University’s recent developments in technical art history, the new centre will have national and international impact. 

It is especially apt that The Princess Royal should open and tour the facility as she has been a long supporter of textile conservation in the UK and Patron of the TCC Foundation for over 15 years. Princess Anne at TCC
Textile Conservation Centre Foundation Chairman, The Marquess of Douro said:

"The TCC Foundation is delighted with this new development, which builds on the world class work, both in education and research, of the former Textile Conservation Centre. The University of Glasgow is the best possible home for this new Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History and future opportunities for the Centre are very exciting.  The enthusiastic support of Glasgow Life's museums and the wider museum and conservation sector in Scotland has been immense and augurs very well for the future."

The new Centre – based in the University’s Robertson Building - inherits existing library intellectual property and analytical equipment from TCCF, so that staff and future students will be able to draw on the key physical and intellectual assets built up over more than 30 years.

Students will also have the opportunity to work with some of the best textile collections in the world held by Glasgow Museums, the National Museums of Scotland and the University’s own Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. The Centre will work closely with the Foundation to establish a global research network in textile conservation, textile and dress history and technical art history.

The new Centre has benefitted from the generosity of many funders including the Glasgow based Robertson Trust; The Clothworkers' Foundation; the Garfield Weston Foundation; The Monument Trust; The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation; The Pilgrim Trust; The Headley Trust and The Getty Foundation.

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Senior Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593


History of Art in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at The University of Glasgow is one of the largest units of its kind in the UK and was the highest rated in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment exercise (RAE) with 85% of its research being considered either internationally excellent or world leading. The unit’s research and teaching profile includes all the major European art historical periods but is also strong in decorative art and design history, sculpture, the arts of China and technical art history. It also has a strong track record in collaborative research projects and exhibition curation. History of Art has considerable experience of initiating, funding and managing art history research and database projects, including the National Inventory Research Project into European Paintings, Mapping Sculpture, 1850-1950 and Whistler Etchings.
The Textile Conservation Centre was founded by Karen Finch OBE in 1975 and was based at Hampton Court Palace. In 1998 it became part of the University of Southampton, in a purpose-designed building on its Winchester campus, but was closed by the University on 31st October 2009. The University of Glasgow, working with the TCC Foundation, has created a new centre using all of the assets of the former TCC. Object-based, interdisciplinary research will be an important aspect of the new Centre which brings together existing areas of expertise in conservation and technical art history. It will be the home of three postgraduate programmes: Dress and Textile Histories; Making & Meaning: Approaches in Technical Art History; and Textile Conservation (MPhil).

First published: 8 February 2011