Textile Conservation Lab
The Textile Conservation Laboratory was established in 1981 with a mission to conserve two sets of 17th century tapestries that were early gifts to the Cathedral. Under the direction of Marlene Eidelheit since 1992, the professional staff of conservators have undertaken exhaustive work on the Barberini Life of Christ set and have begun work on the other, The Acts of the Apostles.
In addition, leading museums, institutional and corporate collectors, galleries and individuals with personal collections bring textiles of all kinds to be conserved. The generous space of the Lab, located inside the Ithiel Town Building on the Cathedral’s Close, means conservators are able to treat objects of any size and type. Since the beginning, the Lab has been committed to training the new generations of conservators and continues this work through a robust internship program. Many former employees have gone on to head conservation labs around the world, and interns frequently move on to museum positions.
The Lab was founded with start-up grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kress Foundation, the Getty Grant program, and the Municipal Council for the Arts. Today, grants and private gifts fund continuing work on the Cathedral’s collections.
The Cathedral’s AIDS Memorial contains a book of remembrance, where the names of people who have died from complications of AIDS are inscribed, and the accompanying banner since it was dedicated in 1985.
One of the Cathedral's treasured Life of Christ tapestries is being prepared for a major journey.
Behind the Threads
The Lab is made up of dedicated conservators who have years of experience in museum conservation. Learn more about them in the Staff Spotlight.