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Conservation of Featherwork

Q&A with Ellen Pearlstein Professor of Information Studies and researcher in the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials

Drawing and terminology for pennaceous feather structure (courtesy Renee Riedler).

18 UCLA Ed&IS FALL 2019

BY JOANIE HARMON

I

n her work as a researcher and scholar of the conservation of cultural artifacts, Ellen Pearlstein has studied the use and preservation of natural materials, the role of indigenous communities in decision-making for exhibits and institutions that present cultural objects, and the education of conservators. A professor in the UCLA Department of Information Studies, Pearlstein focuses her research broadly on preservation principles, and her research includes studies of Native American featherwork. She has done extensive ­studies on the featherwork of the Maidu, Pomo, and Miwok tribes of California, as well as the featherwork of the Tulalip, a Coastal Salish tribe near Seattle. “The Conservation of Featherwork from Central and South America” was inspired by a course on Amazonian featherwork that Pearlstein taught at UCLA and a major collection of these artifacts at the Fowler Museum. While the book focuses on ways of preserving these artifacts and the highly vulnerable materials from which they are made, Pearlstein has written numerous articles on the cultural and ethnographic significance of featherwork and its embodiment of tribal pride and power. Professor Pearlstein teaches in the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Ethnographic and Archaeological Materials and Conservation of Material Culture Ph.D. program. Her research interests include American Indian tribal museums; the effects of environmental agents on ethnographic and natural history materials; how display and storage standards are devised;

Profile for UCLA Ed&IS

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine, Fall 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. In this issue, we...

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine, Fall 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. In this issue, we...

Profile for uclaedis
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