Kristal Hale

Conservator

I have had an abiding fascination for textiles of all sorts since I was ten years old and picked up a needle and started to embroider, with an obsession with the creating of bobbin lace following shortly thereafter. I worked my way through college as a textile conservation assistant in Santa Cruz, CA, during which time I studied archaeology, cultural resource management, Art History and Textile Design graduating receiving my degree from San Francisco State University.

I learned to speak German in Berlin at the Goethe Institute to take up a scholarship I was awarded for a five-year program in Switzerland, in Art Conservation from the Bern University of Applied Sciences and Abegg-Stiftung (Abegg Institute). At the Abegg-Stiftung, I studied, analyzed, and conserved textiles from Central Asia and Europe, graduating with a BA and MA in

I am currently an Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow in the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2020-2022), where I focus on collections care, the use of rigid hydrogels, and novel treatments for reversibly reintegrating color in damage textiles.

In addition to applied conservation techniques, my research involves understanding how current museum practices dovetail with traditional custodial preservation techniques employed in Indonesia. In 2019, I spoke at a textile conservation seminar hosted by the Museum Tekstil Jakarta and the Tracing Patterns Foundation. This event ignited further collaborations with Sandra Sardjono from Tracing Patterns and Saiful Bakhri from the Institut Konservasi, Indonesia, along with other Indonesian Institutions, leading to the publication, Textile Conservation as an Emerging Field in Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunities during the 13th Annual North American Textile Conservation Conference, 2021. I look forward to continued collaboration and exploration of heritage preservation techniques with museum professionals, heritage custodians, and the Tracing Patterns Foundation.