43rd Annual Meeting – Textile Specialty Group Session, May 15, “Tip Session on Mount Making: Materials and Methods for Exhibition and Display by Robin Hanson, Shelly Uhlir, Laura Mina, Denise Krieger Migdail, and Joy Gardiner”

The Tip Session was the final presentation of the Textile Specialty Group. If you missed this session, you missed scads, mountains, and heaps of useful mounting information from six knowledgeable presenters. They shared techniques, and sources for materials and mounting supplies. The presentations were so rich with information, I could not hope to scratch the surface in this post.
The first presenter was Robin Hanson, Associate Conservator of Textiles, with the Cleveland Museum of Art. Her presentation was titled “Modular Mount for pre-Columbian Tunics.” The subject was a display method she developed along with mount makers Carlo Maggiora and Philip Brutz. This tube mount for support and display of multiple pre-Columbian tunics, for a traveling exhibition, had custom fabricated end caps of cylindrical aluminum rod, and custom padded inserts made for each tunic. It is versatile. Variations of the mount were made for inclined wall mounts and for display in the round. The mount reduces handling of the fragile tunics, and can remain in the garment for shipping and in storage. We are in luck, because her poster of the technique will be posted.
Shelly Uhlir is an Exhibits Specialist and Mount Maker at the National Museum of the American Indian. Her presentation, “Joints and Connections: Attempts at Locking Motion,” was divided into three categories for the creation of arm to torso connections: pinned, keyed, and magnetic. Shelly wanted us to keep in mind that shoulder joints are best when they are easy to find and release. Shelly proposed the idea of a collaborative arm connection / mannequin joint wiki-page. I hope that her clever solutions will be posted soon.
Laura Mina, Associate Conservator from the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented “Hats for Egg Heads.”  Laura shared how to support and secure hats while they are perched on highly polished, featureless egg-shaped mounts. She used felt, and double stick tape as well as small constructed forms of Volara, polyester batting, twill tape, and silk. They were a clean and simple solution for display.
Susan Heald, Textile Conservator at the National Museum of the American Indian, presented “Adjustable Angle, reusable slant boards for mounting hides and textiles with magnets.” Susan explained the evolution of the slant boards for hides and textiles used at NMAI. She described how they went from being custom cut to the shape of a hide, to light weight reusable aluminum honeycomb boards with larger handling margins. She shared their construction, materials used, types and size of magnet, sleeve options for the back of textiles, and her choice of sueded polyester to cover magnets used to secure hides to the slant boards.
Denise Krieger Migdail, Textile Conservator at the Asian Art Museum presented  “A new 3M: Minimal Magnet Mounts.”  Denise pointed out that magnetic mounts can be beautiful, functional, and of infinite variety. Her talk was packed with information about the ways she has used magnets for mounts. She had two categories: strip fasteners with magnets embedded into various types of board to spread the pressure evenly along the length of an object; and as point fasteners when magnets are used singly. She shared storage and separation techniques, such as keeping the magnets interleaved with twill tape, and using a stronger magnet as an aid for separation.
Our last speaker was Joy Gardiner, Assistant Director of Conservation, at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. Her presentation was titled “To Avoid Further Piercings: The Mounting of a 1795 Sampler with Original Paper Backing via a Paper Conservation Hinging Method.”  The technique that Joy adapted to keep the backing intact was found in the realm of paper conservation in the article by Hugh Phibbs, “Recent Developments in Works on Paper” published in The Book and Paper Group Annual, Volume 24, 2005. Japanese tissue paper hinges were attached to the sampler backing. The hinges were then passed through slits in a four-ply board, and then adhered to the back of that board without disturbing (or piercing) the sampler or the backing.
The session finished with Q & A followed by time with the speakers, and their examples and handouts.