Julia Brennan has worked in the field of textile conservation for over twenty-five years (in practice). She established Textile Conservation Services in 1995 to serve private collectors, galleries, museums, and institutions. Early training included six years in a private atelier specializing in the conservation of 16th-20th century tapestries, Oriental carpets, Asian textiles and American samplers and quilts. Ms. Brennan helped establish the textile storage and conservation facility at the Philadelphia College of Textile’s Paley Design Center, and was the editor for a manual of conservation stitches. In 1989 she received a Getty Research Grant focusing on the analysis of dyes in historic Thai textiles, as well as treatments for oriental carpets. During her five years as Assistant Conservator for Exhibitions at the Textile Museum in Washington, she prepared over 30 exhibits, and was the guest curator of a contemporary textile show on Faith Ringgold.
Julia Brennan frequently lectures to historical societies and collector groups on the care and display of textiles and costumes. In 2002 she took part in a 2 day seminar on Professional Development in Arkansas Museums. Internationally recognized for her expertise, she consulted on the collection of the National Textile Museum in Thimphu, Bhutan.
In 2003, 2005 and 2007 Julia Brennan launched the first textile conservation workshops in Bhutan at the Textile Museum in Thimphu, the National Museum in Paro, and in regional monasteries. These projects were supported by the Getty Grant Program and Friends of Bhutan’s Culture.
In 2005 Julia conducted a three-week textile training program and mounted an exhibition of historic 19th century textiles in Antanananarivo, Madagascar, also supported by a U.S. Ambassador’s Grant for Cultural Preservation.
In 2007 Julia held the first ever textile conservation workshop in Algeria. The project was supported by a U.S. Ambassador’s Grant for Cultural Preservation, and conducted at the National Bardo Museum in Algiers.
She does regular contract work and maintenance of textile collections for The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Smithsonian Institution Museums.
Ms. Brennan is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation and Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). She is also a member of the Textile Society of America and The Washington Conservation Guild. She holds a BA in art history from Barnard College, New York.