“Southold Historical Society receives prestigious Conservation Grant!”
SOUTHOLD, NY. The Southold Historical Society is pleased to announce that it will receive a $7500 grant for the conservation treatment of a banner which was used as both a Civil War silk parade banner and a Wide Awake Lincoln Presidential campaign banner, dating to 1860. The work is to be done by conservator Mary Kaldany of Textile Conservation Workshop.
The Greater Hudson Heritage Network, which offered the grant, awarded $89,505.29 total in conservation treatment grants to 17 organizations, located in New York, in association with the Museum Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), a state agency.
From Niagara to Long Island, 2015 grants will support conservation needs of the many types of artifacts typically found in art and history museums in this region including a suit belonging to James Fenimore Cooper, Declaration of Independence signer Rufus King’s Traveling Medicine Case and Contents, a silk painted "Pewterers' Banner", a marble fountain sculpture of Neptune, a Costume Ball Dress, c 1910, a selection of works of art on paper, lithographs, paintings on canvas and decorative arts.
The Civil War banner was originally created for the Mattituck “Wide Awake” Club. The “Wide Awakes” were a paramilitary campaign organization affiliated with the American Republican Party during the United States Presidential election of 1860. Local newspapers report that on the day before the election of 1860, the “Wide Awake” groups of the North Fork marched in a torchlight parade through Southold in support of Abraham Lincoln’s election. The Mattituck Club is mentioned as marching in that parade.
While the banner survived mostly intact over the years, it does require preservation work to ensure its long term survival. “Conservation is quite expensive,” stated Amy Folk, Manager of Collections at the Society, “but this object is so important. It’s exciting that it will be fully preserved so that it can be shown to the public.”
Grants are awarded for prioritized, urgently needed conservation of objects that, once treated, will impact public interpretive programs, exhibitions and education. Non-profit organizations with stewardship responsibility for cultural collections, (but without in-house conservation staff) were eligible applicants; state or federally owned collections are ineligible for support. Grant funding can treat paintings, works on paper, textiles, furniture, sculpture, ethnographic, historical and decorative objects, and may also support accompanying professional treatment of frames, supports, stands and mounts if integral to the final public presentation of the object, after conservation.
Greater Hudson Heritage Network strives to provide support for conservation treatments that are executed on the highest professional level. The field of conservation is continually changing, with pioneering research and dissemination of findings on innovative materials and techniques. Although there are many paths into the field of conservation, they acknowledge practitioners who have demonstrated high levels of proficiency and advanced knowledge, adherence to the ethics and standards of the American Institute of Conservation (AIC), and are recognized for their expertise in the museum field. In 2015's grants, treatment will be provided by 29 individual conservators.
These grants lead to public impact outcomes beyond the actual conservation of museum objects, including new interest in the state's incredibly varied collections, and increased public awareness of the museum's role as steward, and has proven a spark to further institutional, strategic, financial and long-range conservation planning. Beyond these outcomes, grant recipients report that Conservation Treatment funding prompts greater use of collections (for exhibition, web content and loan), enhanced interpretive capability, and expanded opportunities to educate the public about art, history, humanities, the science of conservation, and museum work, itself.
This year 39 grant applications were received at Greater Hudson Heritage Network from institutions from 30 counties in New York State, requesting an aggregate of $211,854.07 in grant support. In all, requests were made for the treatment of 94 objects of which 17 organizational awards totaling $89,505.29 were recommended by a peer panel of conservators, curators, and museum professionals. Of the 17 institutions that received funding, 15 received full funding, 2 received partial funding. 2015 Conservation Treatment Grant awards range from $1,030.00 to $7,500.00.
Southold Historical Society is proud to have received the highest amount, $7500 and is eager to have the banner conserved so that it can be shared with the community. For more information on this event or other Society programs, please contact the Southold Historical Society at (631) 765-5500.