The Conversation: How To Preserve Your Treasures

May 22, 2019

Credit Wikimedia Commons

We take time out to talk about how best to protect your family treasures. Earlier this month we focused on paper and photos and all things digital. This time we talk textiles, wood, metal and more.

Do you have your grandma’s hawaiian quilt, or calabash?  Or mabe a favorite tutu’s feather lei or uncle’s samuri sword. We reached out to the Shangri-La Museum of Islamic Art whose conservator specializes in artifacts like stone and metal. We also connected with a local textile conservator who has worked with Bishop Museum and another with expertise with wood, and all things glazed.

Our guests today were:

  • Kent Severson has been the Conservator of Collections at Shangri La, the Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design in Kahala.  He specializes in treatment stone, ceramics and metals.

  • Linda Hee is an Art Conservator specializing in textiles and organic materials (feather, kapa, basketry, etc.).  She worked for what was then the Pacific Regional Conservation Center at Bishop Museum before going into private practice.

  • Thor Minnick began his career in Hawaii working in a family business doing decorative painted finishes and furniture restoration. He transitioned into conservation of wooden artifacts, gilded surfaces. ceramic, and glass objects. His formal education is in chemistry and botany at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Minnick has been tapped to do work for Hawaii’s major collections and private holdings.

Here are some helpful links to help aid you in your preservation:

Conservation information for the public:

National Park Service

https://www.doi.gov/museum/conserve-o-grams

Canadian Conservation Institute

https://www.canada.ca/en/conservation-institute/services/conservation-preservation-publications/canadian-conservation-institute-notes.html

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute

https://www.si.edu/MCI/english/learn_more/taking_care/index.html

How to find a conservator:

https://www.culturalheritage.org/membership/find-a-conservator