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Axminster at Harewood – An Ethical Debate


  • House and Collections Team
  • 0113 218 1051
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Monday 20 June 2016
11am – 3pm

As part of the Yorkshire Year of the Textile and Harewood’s own conservation planning, our Collections Team have recently undertaken condition checks of two of our 18th century Axminster carpets. These carpets are an integral part of the interior scheme of the house and echo Robert Adam’s ceiling designs in both the Yellow Drawing Room and the Music Room. Unfortunately, both carpets have suffered severe deterioration over time and are now in desperate need of repair and conservation, a task that will cost tens of thousands of pounds undertake.

An in depth look at the carpets’ condition has revealed several options in the methods of repair that could be undertaken, in order to ensure the preservation of these carpets for future generations to discover and enjoy. To help inform our decisions with regards to this vast conservation project, we will be holding an ethical debate for an invited audience focusing on the issues of textile conservation, and posing the question: “What are the challenges of applying conservation ethics while balancing historical authenticity with aesthetic appearance?”.

The debate will be chaired by Prof. Ann Sumner, Historic Collection Advisor at Harewood House Trust and participating speakers include Dr. Crosby Stevens (Textile Conservator), Frances Hartog (Senior Textile Conservator at the Victoria & Albert Museum) and Dr. Chrissie Freeth (Saltaire Tapestry Artist and Weaver).

The programme for the day can be viewed here.

If you would like to join us for this event, please RSVP to collections@harewood.org. Please note, pre-booking is essential for this event and spaces are limited.