Mrs Karen Thompson
- Senior Lecturer (History of Art)
Office Hour: Email for appointment
My key research interests include:
- Scholarship of learning and teaching
- Self-regulated learning
- Object based learning
- Textile Conservation
- Painted textiles
- Costume and accessories
- Conservation methods
- Research Network for Textile Conservation, Textile History and Technical Art History
I am currently studying textile conservation teaching pedagogy, focusing on object based learning (OBL), as part of doctoral research. In addition, I am collaborating with colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University investigating the effects of conservation cleaning protocols. I am also leading a small research project to embedding sustaininabilty into the curriculum in collaboration with an external partner, Marina Herriges.
I am part of the Kelvin Centre for Conservation and Cultural Heritage Research, University of Glasgow, Kelvin Hall, 1445 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AW.
My research interests stem from my work as a professional textile conservator and educator. I worked as a textile conservator for over 20 years and held posts in different conservation organisations both in the museum sector and private practice in the UK and abroad, including the Textile Conservation Centre (Hampton Court Palace and University of Southampton), National Museums of Scotland, People’s History Museum and Artlab Australia. My conservation practice involves work on many different types of textiles, specialising in tapestry, costume, and painted banners, as well as managing major conservation projects, including the conservation of original Victorian theatre scenery for Normansfield Hospital Theatre, Teddington, UK. Through my experience as a qualified teacher in both the university and wider education sector, I bring together my conservation practice, teaching and research. I am currently programme convenor for the MPhil Textile Conservation. I enjoy exploring creative ways to develop learning in professional practice contexts.
- 2022 "Are established textile cleaning protocols used in conservation damaging historic treasures? A microscopic and spectroscopic investigation". Royal Society of Chemistry £10,000. Project in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University. Mahesh Uttamlal, PI & Karen Thompson Co-I.
- 2021-22 Embedding environmental sustainability for active learning and student engagement in textile conservation. £2942.50. University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Development Fund. Karen Thompson (Glasgow, PI) & Marina Herriges (External Partner, Co-I). LTDF project details
- 2020 'Microscopic analysis of historic textile fibres pre- and -post cleaning' Summer Studentship Funded by the Royal Microscopical Society. Project in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University. Mahesh Uttamlal, PI & Karen Thompson Co-I. £2000
2015 Painted textile research. Textile Conservation Foundation - Funded short part-time contract for a research assistant, 6 months for 2 days a week, to investigate and fabricate model painted textiles in order to understand the complex surface and interfacial interactions that occur in these historic objects over time. £7,500
2003/4 AHRB Small Award, ‘An initial exploration of the benefits of using transmitted light photography to access information concealed within multilayered textiles’ £3,150
- 2005/6 AHRB Small Award, ‘Documentation of papers concealed within an eighteenth century coverlet using transmitted light photography’ £1,355
- MPhil Textile Conservation, convenor
- Principles and Practice: Advanced Skills
- Principles and Practice: Conservation Projects
- Material Cultures
- Also contributes to teaching
- Deconstructing the Artefact
- Ethics in Textile Conservation Practice
- Framing Dress and Textile Histories
- MPhil in Textile Conservation, Convenor
- Learning and Teaching Convenor for School of Culture and Creative Arts
Awards and Recognition
Project manager for the Conservation of Normansfield Theatre Scenery, shortlisted for the National Conservation Awards, 2005.
Senior Fellow Recognised Excellence in Teaching (SF RET)
Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation (FIIC)
Accredited Conservator-Restorers (ACR), The Institute of Conservation (Icon)
External Examiner MA & BA Conservation, City and Guilds of London Art School (2019 - present)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Conservation Higher Education Institutions Network (CHEIN), Network Steering Group