CoRK EAST, STUDIO 26
Muffie Austin has always worked in the arts. She received her bachelors and master's degrees from Massachusetts College of Art.
Working first in the fashion world, she eventually discovered textile conservation, where she has held jobs as a textile conservator for over 36 years. As a conservator, she has been a staff member of the Textile Conservation Center in the Museum of American Textile History, The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston and the Assistant Director and Field Service Director of the Textile Conservation Workshop in New York.
Through the years Ms. Austin has treated textiles ranging in age from 5thC. to contemporary; sizes range from tiny Coptic fragments to 18 foot tapestries; all types of fibers- natural, synthetic and composite objects; and textiles both flat and 3 dimensional, especially costume. Along with laboratory treatment, it has been her job to travel to museums and historical societies throughout the United States to give lectures, teach workshops and survey textile collections for both, condition and environmental detriments. In the laboratory setting and on-site, she has trained many interns in the field of conservation.
She has been privileged to work on objects such as Princess Diana's dress, Teddy Roosevelt's bear and Benigno Aquino assassination garment. She has done surveys and also treated textiles belonging to institutions, such as the Ellis Island Museum, Lincoln Library, Appleton Museum, Harn Museum, Bass Museum, Florida National Guard, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Holocaust Museum, Tampa Bay History Museums, and the Fine Arts Museum in St. Petersburg among others.
Muffie has also worked internationally both in Europe and in Asia.
Now living in Fernandina Beach, Florida, her private practice includes examination, treatment, surveys, collections management, lectures and workshops on condition, storage and textile exhibition.
For the last number of years Muffie has taken a hiatus from her art. Now with a studio in Cork she is returning to creating her art.
It is no wonder that her love of textiles has been translated into her collaged art work. Working with color, patterns, watercolor and found objects, she combines and pieces them all together to create her finished art. Preferring to work on a smaller scale, these jewel-like "pictures" represent the creativity of her imagination.
To contact Muffie:
Textile Conservation Services LLC: