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Subject: Studentship at RCA/V&A

Studentship at RCA/V&A

From: Joanna Baden <joanna.baden>
Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2003
RCA/V&A Conservation has re-opened applications for one MA place in
the Conservation of Costume (with the V&A) and two MA places in the
Conservation of Natural History (with the Natural History Museum).
The deadline for new applications is 30 May 2003. Previous
applicants should not re-apply.

Textile Conservation

Studentship for 2003/04:
MA Conservation of Costume, based in the V&A Textiles Conservation
1 place available for 2 years.

Entry requirements: Previous training and/or substantial experience
in textile conservation is essential. Candidates must be able to
demonstrate proficiency in all basic textile conservation skills.
Preference will be given to candidates who have some knowledge of
costume. Pattern cutting skills desirable (training is available).

Context: The V&A has one of the world's most comprehensive
collections of textiles including early archaeological fragments,
costume of many periods from Europe and Asia, furnishing textiles,
upholstered material, and examples of every type of textile
technique. In one of the largest sections of the V&A Conservation
Department, students have the opportunity to work on objects as
diverse as the collections but these objects are selected to help
them gradually develop all the essential skills of the textile
conservator. Students are primarily supervised by the Head of
Section but receive guidance from other Studio staff, with different
areas of interest and expertise.

Since RCA/V&A Conservation began in 1989, six MA students have
graduated in Textile Conservation, one of whom is currently employed
by the National Museum of Scotland, following a year as an intern in
the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.  Two graduated with an MA in
Upholstery Conservation. After a period in New York at the
Metropolitan Museum, our first Upholstery graduate returned to take
up a post at the V&A, the only dedicated Upholstery Conservation
post in a UK museum. He in turn supervised an MA student who
graduated in 2001 and is now employed  on a one-year internship at
the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, USA.

For 2003/04 we are offering a new specialist discipline in the
Conservation of Costume. The V&A has extensive collections of
costume from Europe dating from the 17th century to the present day
as well as a large Asian collection and an important collection of
theatre costume. There is also a substantial collection of costume
at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Fashion and Dress play
a very important  part in the Museums exhibition and display
programme with an increasing emphasis on contemporary designers.
This studentship will focus on the construction, conservation and
safe mounting of many different types of costume involving a very
wide variety of textiles and textile related materials.  The student
will gain experience in the appropriate choice of mannequins, the
making of underpinnings and ethical decisions involved in the
conservation and display of dress.

In addition  RCA/V&A Conservation offers two MA places in Natural
History Conservation with the Natural History Museum for 2 years.

Entry requirements: The combination of practice and academic study
provides a challenging learning environment at postgraduate level.
Students must be able to direct aspects of their learning and to
develop critical awareness of their progress. A good knowledge of
natural history, conservation, collections care, and scientific
principles is essential, probably based on an undergraduate degree
in conservation or natural sciences. A mature, flexible and creative
approach to learning is essential and experience of work within
museums is desirable.

Context: In collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London,
RCA/V&A Conservation is able to offer for the first time two MA
studentships in the conservation of natural history collections.

The Natural History Museum is the UK's national museum of natural
history, and a centre of scientific excellence in taxonomy and
biodiversity. The Natural History Museum holds the national
collection of over 70 million natural history specimens. The
collections are held across six departments: Botany, Entomology,
Mineralogy, Palaeontology, Zoology and Library. Within each of these
departments staff apply expertise in order to maintain and develop
the collections and use them to promote the discovery,
understanding, responsible use and enjoyment of the natural world.

The proposed two-year MA studentship will focus on the practical
issues of collections care within natural history. Staff within each
department will deliver practical experience of their field and
students will develop wide ranging specialist knowledge and
practical skills. Students will be based within the Palaeontology
Conservation Unit, the only specialist conservation group within the
Natural History Museum, and work on material from all collections
departments as well as carrying out projects in each. This work will
be further supported in relevant areas by a paper conservator.

The MA course will follow the award-winning format of other MA
specialisms offered by the RCA/V&A Conservation Programme. These
include furniture, stained glass, sculpture, paper, ethnographic
objects, social history objects, and conservation science. The
course provides a common taught programme of conservation topics for
all students in their first year, including principles of
conservation, materials science, preventive conservation, ethics and
professional skills. These components are delivered by course staff
and invited lecturers through seminars, tutorials and special
events, and generally occupy two days of the week during term. For
the remainder of the week the student works and learns in their host
laboratory or studio. Academic assignments are designed to cover
both theory and practice and are required throughout the two year
course. Our students are encouraged to take advantage of events at
the Royal College of Art and final year students display aspects of
their work in the RCA's acclaimed annual Show.

1st Contact:

    Joanna Baden
    Conservation Department
    School of Humanities
    RCA, Kensington Gore
    London SW7 2EU
    joanna.baden [at] rca__ac__uk
    +44 20 7590 4532
    Fax: +44 20 7590 4490

Deadline for Applications: May 30, 2003

Joanna Baden
Department Administrator

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 16, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-61-032
Received on Wednesday, 16 April, 2003

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