Andover, MA. – Museum Textile Services recently completed the conservation of nineteen artifacts left at the makeshift memorial created immediately after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. To mark the one-year anniversary, a selection from among the thousands of items left at the original memorial will go on display at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” will open on April 7, 2014, steps away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The exhibit is organized by #BostonBetter, a volunteer organization of cultural heritage professionals and institutions that came together to commemorate the events of the marathon bombing, honor those who were lost, and help the community continue to heal in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Camille Myers Breeze, Director of Museum Textile Services, was approached in May of 2013 to participate in a voluntary effort to preserve artifacts left at the temporary memorial site. “Memories of the minutes and days following the bombing were still so vivid when we were asked to be a part of this effort,” Camille said. “But I was drawn to the idea of telling the story of the attack in a way that acknowledges the initial emotional response but also reflects our hope and strength.”
In March, 2014, Museum Textile Services Technician Josephine Johnson retrieved nineteen artifacts from the Boston City Archives. The hats, shirts, baby onesies, and Starbucks apron were all inscribed with messages from often anonymous donors. “Over the course of the last three weeks, our staff documented, photographed, surface cleaned, humidified, and gently straightened the artifacts,” Camille said. “We removed any deterioration products, such as bird droppings, that could negatively impact the preservation and exhibition of the objects.”
Each of these artifacts will be displayed in the exhibition “Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial” at the Boston Public Library. The exhibit opens on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. and runs through Sunday, May 11, 2014. “We are deeply honored to be a part of this project and are looking forward to seeing the exhibition at the opening,” said Camille. “Like everyone involved in this project, we hope this exhibition will remind everyone who visits of the outpouring of love and support we as a community received last year. This exhibition is just the first step as we move forward together.”
Museum Textile Services, the premier textile conservation studio in New England, specializes in the preservation of fabric-based materials for cultural institutions and individuals. Museum Textile Services documents, cleans, stabilizes, and mounts historic textiles. Through educational programs and outreach initiatives, Museum Textile Services teaches individuals and cultural heritage institutions how to ensure better preservation of their textiles. For more information, visit www.museumtextiles.com.