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Subject: Online course on mannequin making

Online course on mannequin making

From: Helen Alten <helen<-at->
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
MS 243: Making Museum Quality Mannequins
Instructor: Helen Alten
Sep 3-Oct 11, 2013
Location: Online at

Description: A good mannequin makes an exhibit look professional.
Unfortunately, most museum staff do not know how to make a costume
look good on a mannequin. The result is that costumes look flat,
provide incorrect information or are being damaged. Buying an
expensive "museum quality mannequin" is not the solution--garments
rarely fit without alterations to the mannequin. Learn how to
measure garments and transfer that information to construct a new
form or alter an old form so that it accurately fits the garment,
creating an accurate and safe display. Learn about the materials
that will and won't damage the textile. Making Museum Quality
Mannequins provides an overview of all of the materials used to
construct mannequins in today's museums. Learn inexpensive mannequin
solutions and how different materials may use the same additive or
subtractive construction technique. Fabrication methods for many
mannequin styles are described. Finishing touches--casting and
molding, hair, arms, legs, stands and base, undergarments--are
discussed with examples of how they change the presentation of a

Logistics: Participants in Museum Quality Mannequins work through
sections on their own. Materials and resources include online
literature, slide lectures and dialog between students and the
instructor through online forums.

Museum Quality Mannequins runs six weeks. To learn more about the
course, please go to
If you have trouble please contact Helen Alten

The Instructor:

    Helen Alten, is the Director of Northern States Conservation
    Center and its chief Objects Conservator. For nearly 30 years
    she has been involved in objects conservation, starting as a
    pre-program intern at the Oriental Institute in Chicago and the
    University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. She
    completed a degree in Archaeological Conservation and Materials
    Science from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of
    London in England. She has built and run conservation
    laboratories in Bulgaria, Montana, Greece, Alaska and Minnesota.
    She has a broad understanding of three-dimensional materials and
    their deterioration, wrote and edited the quarterly Collections
    Caretaker, maintains the popular
    <URL:> web site, lectures
    throughout the United States on collection care topics, was
    instrumental in developing a state-wide protocol for disaster
    response in small Minnesota museums, has written, received and
    reviewed grants for NEH and IMLS, worked with local foundations
    funding one of her pilot programs, and is always in search of
    the perfect museum mannequin.

    She has published chapters on conservation and deterioration of
    archeological glass with the Materials Research Society and the
    York Archaeological Trust, four chapters on different mannequin
    construction techniques in Museum Mannequins: A Guide for
    Creating the Perfect Fit (2002), preservation planning,
    policies, forms and procedures needed for a small museum in The
    Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums' Collection
    Initiative Manual, and is co-editor of the penultimate book on
    numbering museum collections (still in process) by the Gilcrease
    Museum in Oklahoma. Helen Alten has been a Field Education
    Director, Conservator, and staff trainer. She began working with
    people from small, rural, and tribal museums while as the state
    conservator for Montana and Alaska. Helen currently conducts
    conservation treatments and operates a conservation center in
    Charleston, WV and St. Paul, MN.

Brad Bredehoft for Helen Alten
Northern States Conservation Center

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:9
                  Distributed: Sunday, August 18, 2013
                        Message Id: cdl-27-9-018
Received on Tuesday, 13 August, 2013

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