Situating Pacific Barkcloth Production in Time & Place

Situating Pacific Barkcloth Production in Time & Place A three-year research project (2016-2018) that aims to transform our understanding of Pacific barkcloth (tapa), its manufacture, history and conservation.

Situating Pacific Barkcloth Production in Time & Place is a three-year research project that aims to transform our understanding of Pacific barkcloth manufacture. A multidisciplinary approach lies at the heart of the project, combining the investigation of artefact provenance, style and historical context; the application of cutting-edge analytical techniques for the study of materials and manufacture methods; and research into specific conservation threats, new conservation methods and conservation treatments that will allow us to improve the long-term conservation and care of barkcloth collections worldwide. Funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project is based at the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, University of Glasgow, Scotland. Three internationally important collections of barkcloth form the project's core research material: •The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, UK. •The Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, UK. •The National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA. The project is analysing these collections to learn how the manufacture, style, condition and degradation of barkcloths changed over the 19th century. We are exploring how those factors varied between cloths made from different bark species and using different pigments. We are discovering how we can use that knowledge today to inform contemporary barkcloth making and use in the Pacific, by engaging with projects in Hawaii that are rediscovering the skills of barkcloth manufacture for the 21st century.

Mission: To transform our understanding of Pacific barkcloth (tapa) manufacture by applying the latest methods in conservation science, materials science, the history of collections and Pacific art history.

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Centre For Textile Conservation & Technical Art History, University Of Glasgow, Robertson Building, Dumbarton Road
Glasgow
G11 6AQ

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