The Institute of Museum Services, which last week announced $3.23 million in Conservation Project Support Awards to 256 museums nationwide, will help three Washington museums with special projects: The prints and drawings collection at the Octagon House Museum, which received $15,020 for the conservation of 42 architectural drawings by Richard Hunt; the conservation lab at the Textile Museum, which received $870 to put ultraviolet filters on its windows; and a deteriorating Gobelin tapestry at the Woodrow Wilson House, which got $3,700 to conserve the prized possession.
The 1908 French tapestry, which depicts the marriage of Eros and Psyche, was a gift from the French ambassador to President and Mrs. Wilson and was brought to the Woodrow Wilson House in 1921.
"It's larger than the wall it hangs on," said Wilson House director Earl James. "It needs cleaning from the accumulation of dust, and relining . . . it's beginning to pull itself apart." The grant will be used to clean the tears and breaks and to mount the tapestry on a specially constructed wooden frame.
The institute, an agency of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, was established in 1976 to help all types of museums, botanical gardens and zoos modernize their facilities to be better able to preserve the country's cultural, scientific and natural heritage. The grants, a maximum of $25,000 each, must be matched by recipients.