Artwork © Andre Lanoux 2015. Commissioned by Edward Maeder.

Karen Finch was a leading advocate for textile conservation worldwide, transforming the profession through her teaching, workroom practice and writing. She founded the Textile Conservation Centre which became a leading institute for education and research, where pioneering advances were made in the remedial conservation of tapestries, painted silk banners, upholstered furniture and archaeological textiles.

Karen’s aim that conservation should preserve historical information led to a strong emphasis on technical documentation and preventative care. She believed in a collaborative approach bringing together conservators, curators and scientists in the understanding of textiles as historical documents.

Karen’s textile pursuits were broad; her personal engagement with textiles started with design and weaving, leading on to a profound interest in historical techniques and the meaning of textiles in daily life.

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