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Subject: Dance costumes

Dance costumes

From: Ann I. Seibert <asei>
Date: Friday, December 28, 2001
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Searching for an experienced costume/textile conservator able to
provide conservation services for two costumes of the American
dancer, Katherine Dunham.  I completed an overall survey of the
collections of the Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities
in East St. Louis last year for the Dance Heritage Coalition.  There
are seven costumes designed by Ms. Dunham's husband, Jack Pratt, who
was a fashion designer, that are an important part of a permanent
exhibit on Ms. Dunham's life.  Some of the costumes appear in
original film segments on the PBS special on Ms. Dunham's work and
it's impact on American dance. The costumes represent an important
part of our national cultural heritage.  The grant for this project
is from the "Save America's Treasures" and needs to be obligated

The costumes are very elaborately worked, and reflect, in some
cases, traditional dresses from Central and Latin America.  All were
worn during dances and have now been exhibited for some time.  Two
of the costumes ("Veracruzana" and "Cumbia") are in immediate need
of stabilization, some cleaning and repair.  It would be helpful as
well to have a textile conservator's recommendations for the
exhibition of all of the costumes and assistance on the support and
mounting of all seven costumes.

I have called FAIC for referrals, talked to several people, and have
not been able to find anyone able to work on these costumes, which
include headdresses, shoes and a parasol. I would appreciate hearing
from anyone who is interested in this project.  I have photographs
of the two costumes that need immediate work and the costumes are
already packed and waiting in East St. Louis for shipment.

Ann Seibert
Sr. Paper Conservator
Library of Congress

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:47
                 Distributed: Thursday, January 3, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-47-011
Received on Friday, 28 December, 2001

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