Dr Anita Quye
- Senior Lecturer (History of Art)
My research interests are the heritage science of textiles and decorative art and social history artefacts in museums, archives and historical places for their provenance, interpretation, significance and preservation. This involves chemistry, art history, the history of making, laboratory analysis and conservation science. I am based in the The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History within History of Art. I am Head of History of Art (2017-present).
- Historical dyes, natural and synthetic
- Historical plastics
- Historical synthetic fibres
- Micro-chemical analysis by UHPLC, FTIR and UV-Vis
- Mass-production chemical history
- Dyers’ books
- Experimental recreation
- Ageing studies
I lead the research of the Crutchley Archive of eighteenth-century dye books in Southwark Archives (Textile Conservation Foundation and Worshipful Company of Dyers grants), resulting in its inscription to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World register in 2020. My extensive Dye-versity research of early synthetic dyes in dyers books continues, initiated with a Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities grant, as a legacy project from the ReCREATE research network for the experimental culture of Scotland’s nineteenth century decorative textiles (Royal Society of Edinburgh). I am also researching synthetic materials in the Scottish Business Archive, University of Glasgow, an outcome of the ReINVENT knowledge exchange network for Scotland’s historical textiles industry (Royal Society of Edinburgh). In 2021 I will be an invited Getty Guest Scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute to research modern material archives and reference collections.
Recent doctoral and postdoctoral research by my group are described in this blog for Textile Conservation .
I am involved with the plastics cleaning project PlasCO2, PI Joana Lia Ferreira (Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation), the materials study of the Morton cope in Bishop Auckland Museum, PI Mary Brookes (Society of Antiquaries grant), and new research on the Dunollie Museum textile collection, PI Alison Mayne (Pasold Research Fund). I am an advisor for ‘From Fleece to Fashion’, PI Lynn Abrahms (AHRC). I chair the University of Glasgow’s Smithsonian Institution Partnership Steering Group.
I continue my research interests in dyed historical Scottish tartans, cellulose nitrate and acetate plastic degradation, and light-sensitive dyes from my analytical science projects at National Museums Scotland.
I have published two books, Plastics: Collecting and Conserving with Colin Williamson (National Museums Scotland Publications) and Wrought in Gold and Silk: Preserving the Art of Historic Tapestries with Kathryn Hallett and Concha Herrero Carretero (NMS Publications), and two book chapters Quality Matters for Historical Plastics in The Co-Shaping of Materials and Chemists in the Twentieth Century by Pierre Teissier, Cyrus Mody and Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Chromatography in Conservation Research in Libraries by David Howell. With Matija Strlic and the Icon Heritage Science Group I wrote the Icon Heritage Science Group Ethical Sampling Guidance published by The Institute of Conservation. My proposed new monograph is Modern Materials In Decorative Arts and Fashion (working title), under review with Routledge Books for their Conservation, Museum & Heritage Studies and Library & Information Science series.
- Principal Investigator, LightFasTR, 2017-2019 EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Research Fellowship (Programme: H2020-EU.1.3.2; Grant agreement ID 708740) for Dr Mohammad Shahid. £130,000 (€183,454,80).
- Principal Investigator, Dye-versity, 2016-2017. Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities Research Initiative Grant. £7,500
- Principal Investigator, ReCREATE, Research Network, 2016–2014. Royal Society of Edinburgh. £13,300.
- Principal Investigator, ReINVENT Knowledge Exchange Network, 2013-2014. Royal Society of Edinburgh. £10,000.
- Principal Investigator, Crutchley Archive, Southwark Archives, 2016-2017. Worshipful Company of Dyers and Textile Conservation Foundation. £7,500.
- Principal Investigator, Filtered Light Project, 2015. Textile Conservation Foundation. £7,000.
- Co-Investigator, Dirty Stories, 2012-2013. Scottish Crucible Project Award, Royal Society of Edinburgh. £1,500.
- Principal Investigator, Dye Analysis Laboratory Equipment for UHPLC-PDA, 2011-2012. Textile Conservation Foundation. £52,000 total.
- Principal Investigator, Dye Analysis Laboratory Equipment, 2011. Company of Dyers. £5,000.
I welcome enquires for Doctoral and Masters research in my interest areas of provenance, interpretation, significance and preservation studies by heritage science, material history and conservation science:
- dyed textiles
- decorative art artefacts
- social history material culture
- natural and early synthetic dye history
- plastics and synthetic fibre history
- commercial historical modern materials
- chemical analysis
- museum object and collection research
- archival research
- experimental recreation
Identification of Commercial Plastics and their Implications for the Conservation of Modern Materials in Mixed Media Decorative Arts. MLitt Research 2020-
- Spence, Alison
Archivally-embedded textiles, digitisation and digital materiality: communicating materiality, object biography and aura for material-centred research
- Turkey red dyeing in late-19th century Glasgow: Interpreting the historical process through re-creation and chemical analysis for heritage research and conservation. 2012-2016. Lord Kelvin-Adam Smith Doctoral Scholarship
- The historical and chemical investigation of dyes in high status Chinese costume and textiles of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). 2012-2015
Doctoral research supervision at National Museums Scotland
- The development and application of analytical methods for the identification of dyes on historical textiles. Academic partner: University of Edinburgh. 2002-2005
- Identification of yellow dyes in ancient textiles. Academic partner: University of Edinburgh. 1999-2002
- Analytical studies of the degradation of cellulose nitrate artefacts. Academic partner: University of Strathclyde. 1994-1997
- Analytical studies of the degradation of cellulose acetate artefacts. Academic partner: University of Strathclyde. 1991-1994
- Anglo-Saxon and Medieval pottery lipid residues. Academic partner: University of Bristol. 1991-1994
- History of Art Level 1
- History of Art Level 2
- Textile Conservation MPhil
- Art History MLitt
- Dress and Textile Histories MLitt
- Chemistry (undergraduate and MChem project supervision)
- Modern Material Artefacts MSc
- Preventive Conservation
- Deconstructing the Artefact
Professional activities & recognition
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2016: Southwark Local History Library and Archive, Crutchley Archive Advisory Group
- 2004 - 2019: ePreservation Science
- 2006: Dyes in History and Archaeology
Professional & learned societies
- 2015: Heritage Science Group Treasurer, Institute of Conservation
- 2011: West of Scotland Local Section Member, Royal Society of Chemistry
- 2012 - 2017: Analytical Division Scottish Region, Royal Society of Chemistry
Selected international presentations
- 2019: 1st Bienniel of Natural Dyes (BoND) (China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou)
- 2019: Plastics Heritage Congress Young Historians in Plastics Research Summer School (Lisbon)
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry (University of Strathclyde)
- PhD Forensic Toxicology (University of Glasgow)
- NSVQ Level 4 Cultural Heritage CHN TO Unit G3
- PG Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Glasgow
- Head of History of Art, University of Glasgow 2017-
- National Museums Scotland 1989-2010:
- Principal Scientist (Organic Analytical Chemist), Department of Conservation and Analytical Research
- Royal Museum Project Resource Manager (secondment)
Academic and Professional Memberships
- Member and Chartered Chemist of the Royal Society of Chemistry CChem MRSC
- Associate of the Museum Association AMA
- Fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (science) FRSSA
- Fellow of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries FSA Scot
- Fellow of the Higher Education Authority FHEA
- Institute of Conservation
- Scottish Cruciblist (2012), Royal Society of Edinburgh-NESTA
Recent Invited Lectures and Blogs
- 2020 Conservation Together At Home Webinar
- 2019 Biennial on Natural Dyes (BoND), China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou
- 2019 Young Historians in Plastics (YHiP) postgraduate research workshop, Lisbon
- 2019 Phoenix Renewed conference, Church of England and 20th Century Society, Coventry
- 2019 Icon Modern Materials Network, London
- 2018 Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh
- 2017 Research Libraries UK, Glasgow and Edinburgh
- 2017 Scottish Council on Archives, Glasgow
- 2017 Dye-versity guest blog International Archives Day
- 2015 Full STEAM Ahead CrucibleIRL, Dublin
Research Consultation and Knowledge Exchange
- Fraternity of Linlithgow Dyers archive. Interface project: 16-IF-3295
- College of Arts Dress and Textile Theme Lead 2013-2015
- Museums Galleries Scotland Recognition Scheme: assessor
- Scottish Parliament Committee Inquiry for the Scottish Tartans Bill, research evidence:
- Great Scottish Tapestry Modern Kilt panel research advisor
- 2000 NASA recognition award for technical expertise and endeavour in historical plastics preservation
- 1998 ‘The Classic Plastics Clinic’: Museum & Galleries Commission/Jerwood Foundation ‘Communicating Conservation’ Award Winner
- Icon Heritage Science Group: committee member and treasurer 2015-
- Russell Group Culture Network: 2019-
- Royal Society of Chemistry Local Section West of Scotland: 2011-2017
- Modern Materials in Collections: Scotland (MMiC:S): Founder and Coordinator 2004-2006
- Historical Plastics Research Scientists Group (HPRSG): Founder and Coordinator 1994-2000
- Royal Society of Chemistry Scottish Analytical Division: 2014-2017
- Royal Society of Chemistry Chemistry Week Working Party: 1994-1996