Director at Large: Linda Eaton
Personal Statement Working behind the scenes of a museum sometimes seems to be a very solitary activity, but I know how enriching it is to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to share their knowledge and experience. As a textile historian I have benefited from the advice of practitioners, such as weavers and stitchers, who have helped me to understand textile structures in ways that I would not have been able to do on my own. Artists have opened my eyes to the importance of aesthetics, while art historians and anthropologists have helped me to interpret what I see in different ways. I joined TSA because it is an organization that represents a wide range of textilians, and brings our interests and expertise together for the benefit of all.
Bio: Linda currently serves as the John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum, where she supervises the curatorial staff, and works with registration and conservation for the care and management of Winterthur’s collection of fine and decorative art. Her curatorial position involves research, exhibition, publication, and collection management for Winterthur’s textile collection, comprising some 20,000 objects including textile furnishings, clothing, needlework, rugs, quilts, etc, and she also teaches in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, a master’s program operated in conjunction with the University of Delaware. Before becoming a curator, she was Head of Textile Conservation at Winterthur, and prior to that at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Linda currently serves as President of the Board of the Arden Craft Shop Museum, a small local history museum for one of the few surviving Utopian communities in America. She has a B.A. Hons. Combined Studies (History and English), University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and a Diploma in Textile Conservation, Courtauld Institute of Art (Textile Conservation Centre, Hampton Court Palace). Her publications include Printed Textiles: British and American Printed Cottons and Linens 1700-1850 (New York: Monacelli Press, 2014); Quilts in a Material World: Selections from the Winterthur Collection (New York: Abrams in association with Winterthur Museum, 2007). She has curated both large and small exhibitions including: The Diligent Needle: Instrument of Profit, Pleasure and Ornament; Who’s Your Daddy? Families in Early American Needlework; Betsy Ross: The Life Behind the Legend (with Marla Miller); and Deceit, Deception & Discovery (about fakes and forgeries in American decorative art).