The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a Preservation Assistance Grant to Tudor Place for a conservation assessment of the museum’s most important textile collection. Because of the project’s importance in the study of American history, the textile conservation assessment received funding from the Endowment’s “We the People” initiative, a special honor for Tudor Place.
With this grant, textile conservator Julia Brennan will conduct an object-by-object survey of over 710 textile items, identifying conservation treatment priorities and making suggestions for improved storage. The Tudor Place textile collection spans the centuries from the earliest years of the nation to the 20th century, and includes clothing, furnishing textiles, and carpets. In addition to the large holdings the Peter family bequethed to the museum, the collection was significantly enhanced by a 1993 gift from the Massie family, a collateral member of the Peter clan. The entire collection includes historically significant items, 53 of which have Mount Vernon provenance, including a woman’s dressing gown and a redingote belonging to Martha Washington, a needlepoint cushion made by Martha Washington, and several wooden “rose” blankets used at Mount Vernon. A needlepoint cushion made by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton for Martha Custis Peter, early 19th century linen bedding, and the earliest documented piece of decorative needlework from Georgetown enrich the collection of early historical items.