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River Region Costume and Textile Conservation

Howard Sutcliffe is the principal conservator and director of River Region Costume and Textile Conservation, a private practice in Arley Alabama and Nashville Tennessee. River Region provides collection management advice, collection surveys and conservation treatment services for individual and institutional clients; including for 2024 Alabama Department of Archives and History, AL.  Auburn University, AL. Birmingham Museum of Art, AL. Mobile Museum of Art, AL. The Jazz Hall of Fame and Museum, Birmingham, AL. The Arizona Cardinals, Scottsdale, AZ. Stanford University, San Jose, CA.  The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA. Emory University, Atlanta, GA. The National College Football Hall of Fame, Atlanta, GA. The University of Georgia, Athens, GA. Detroit Institute of Arts, MI.  The Manoogian Museum, Southfield, MI.  Kent State University Museum, OH. National Park Service (FODO, SHIL). North Carolina State Museum, NC. The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC. Belle Meade, TN. Beloit College, WI, and The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Howard has previously worked as the Head Textile Conservator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and in the textile conservation studios at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and American Textile History Museum in the US and at The National Trust and National Museums Liverpool in his native UK.

He is Fellow member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and is a current board member of the North American Textile Conservation Conference. 

A Few Select Projects.......

A mid 18th century Chinese Court robe (DIA#37.91) conserved and mounted in the new Asian Art Galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts

DIA robe case.jpg

Nicholas II: The Reluctant Autocrat

Georgia Museum of Art, GA.

The exhibition focuses on the reign of the last of the Romanov rulers, Nicholas II (1894–1917).  

It includes several textile objects, among them an officer’s parade uniform made for Nicholas II; the official uniform costume of the Lord Chamberlain at the Imperial Court of Saint Petersburg, a Cossack robe (chokha/cherkeska) and a gold-embroidered Caucasian outfit for a boy.


Get in touch

Please use the contact form to get in touch or feel free to call or email directly using the address and number listed. Sending photos along with a description of your object, and information about what you want to do with it (display, storage etc.) is always useful.   The conservation process starts with an examination of the object and an assessment of its condition either in person or from high quality photographs. This enables me to write a treatment proposal tailored to your object that includes a time and cost estimate.

Using an ultrasonic humidifier to relax creases and wrinkles in Kermit's collar prior to display. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts.


Thank you for reviewing this brief selection of projects from the River Region Costume and Textile Conservation Portfolio. Please get in touch to find out more.

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Arley AL and Nashville TN




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