Georgina Sheward, Museum Placement Award 2012

I was fortunate enough to be granted the Museum Placement Award by the Costume Society. I spent my summer working with the staff at the Burrell collection.

One half of my placement was spent working with Rebecca Quinton, curator of the European Costume collection, helping to re-pack and catalogue numerous dresses. With over 300 dresses in just one storage room, there was no lack of amazing objects to uncover. The work that I was required to do helped me to understand the effort that is put in to ensure that these dresses are stored correctly for future study. Cataloguing the objects has helped me learn the intricate details that separate the changing fashions in 19th century clothing and has given me a better understanding of the work involved.

The other half of my placement was spent with the conservators. This work involved mounting objects on specially made mannequins, creating underclothing to support the dresses and taking patterns to better understand how the dresses fitted together or to assess if they had undergone some remodelling in their past. I then went on to help mount mannequins that were to go on display in the Kelvingrove museum, seeing the processes which they have to go through to ensure they will be in as good a condition as they went in, coming out.

This placement has been an ongoing education that has added to the course at Glasgow University and has helped me to focus on a career in dress and textiles.

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