Deborah Lee Trupin will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Wednesday, November 30 at 12 pm. Her talk is entitled “Textiles in the Historic Interior—A Look at Curatorial, Conservation, and Interpretive Issues.”


Deborah Lee Trupin received an MA in art history and a Diploma in Conservation from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, Conservation Center. From 1986 to 2015, she was Textile and Upholstery Conservator for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Bureau of Historic Sites (Peebles Island) in Waterford, NY, where she was responsible for the conservation of the textile and upholstery collections of the 35 state‑run historic sites, and supervised the New York State Battle Flag Preservation Project. From 1999 to 2011, she taught both flag and upholstery conservation at the Finnish national conservation school. In 2004, she was appointed as the American consulting textile conservator for NYU’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. Her main interests in conservation include tapestries, upholstered furniture, flags, historic house museum issues, and the history of conservation/restoration. She has lectured and published widely on these topics. Trupin is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and serves on their Board. She is also Co-ordinator for the Textiles Working Group of the ICOM Committee on Conservation.

In this talk, Trupin will discuss the use of textiles in historic interiors, whether these be in historic sites and house museums, or period rooms within museums. Some of the questions she will explore include: What role do textiles play in the historic interior? How is conservation of textiles for historic interiors the same as or different from conservation of textiles for art or history museums? What issues must conservators address when treating textiles for historic interiors? Who decides what textiles are appropriate for an historic interior? How are these decisions made? If desired textiles or soft furnishings are not in a collection, what are the options for adding textiles to an historic interior? Using examples from her work with historic house museums in New York State and Florence, Italy, Trupin will show some of the ways that she and her colleagues have tried to answer these questions and will welcome comments from students about the solutions they have used. From her experience, it seems there is never a “perfect” solution, so there is always something to discuss and think about for the next project.