Do you have questions about how to store and care for a prized family possession? Or perhaps you’d like to know more about a piece of antique furniture or some silver you have inherited.

Then come to the Mountain Gateway Museum in August and learn more from the experts.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, two conservators from the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will be at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort to answer your questions and give their professional advice on how to preserve and protect precious family heirlooms, such as quilts, wedding dresses, clocks, jewelry, musical instruments, military uniforms and many other objects, according to a news release.

Textile conservator Paige Myers and objects conservator Jennifer French will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on that day. Each conservator can meet with an individual for up to 30 minutes.

Appointments must be scheduled in advance and can be made now by calling Mountain Gateway Museum at 828-668-9259.

Conservators will not provide estimates on value. They will be here to tell you how your artifact can be preserved.

Each participant can bring a total of three pre-approved objects for the conservators to examine. The objects must be pre-approved for the public’s safety and to protect the museum against serious infestations. For those reasons, please leave the following objects at home:

  • objects with live ammunition, unexploded dynamite or other armaments
  • textile or wooden objects infested with mold, bugs or pests
  • hazardous chemicals, such as acetone, barium, strychnine or ether.

This free Conservation Assistance Day program is held four times a year, from the mountains to the sea, as part of the N.C. Museum of History’s educational outreach efforts.

Myers and French have nearly 40 years of conservation between them. Myers has spent 25 years working with textiles, including clothing, uniforms, quilts, and flags, at the N.C. Museum of History and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. She was a professional costumer with Raleigh Creative Costumes; is textile advisor to Hope Plantation in Windsor and presents textile workshops in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast.

French has more than 15 years of experience working with collections at the N.C. Museum of History; the N.C. Division of Historic Sites; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution; and the Wiltshire County Council Conservation Centre in Wiltshire, England. She examines and treats archaeological, ethnographic and historic objects, as well as objects of fine art, according to the news release.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with conservation experts. Call 828-668-9259 today to make your 30-minute appointment with either Myers or French. Appointment slots are expected to fill up quickly.

Located at 24 Water Street in Old Fort, Mountain Gateway Museum is the westernmost facility in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of State History Museums.

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of historic Mill Creek, the museum uses artifacts, exhibitions, educational programs, living history demonstrations, and special events to teach people about the rich history and cultural heritage of the state’s mountain region, from its original inhabitants through early settlement and into the 20th century.

As part of its education outreach mission, the museum also assists non-profit museums and historic sites in 38 western North Carolina counties with exhibit development and fabrication, genealogical research, photography archives, traveling exhibitions, and consultations.

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