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Anthropology Museum receives grant to conserve endangered Comanche robe

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology will be able to undertake conservation work on an endangered mid-19th century Comanche child’s robe thanks to a recent grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The robe, made from a painted hide, is one of two Comanche hides from the southern Plains in the Museum of Anthropology’s collection. The hides are rare examples of Comanche clothing found in a museum collection located east of the Mississippi River.

The grant, plus funds raised through a recent “Save Our Hide” fundraising campaign held by the museum, will allow the conservation work to take place. The hide and its treatment will also be featured in the museum’s online artifact database, allowing the museum to share the artifact with a broader audience and to highlight the importance of preserving historic objects for future generations.

“We are extremely grateful for the continued support of the IMLS,” said Stephen Whittington, director of the Museum of Anthropology. “Their funding of this important conservation work will allow the hide to be stabilized so that it can be exhibited for the first time, helping to fulfill the educational mission of our museum.”

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American Heritage Preservation Grants are used by small museums, libraries and archives to help to preserve specific items, including works of art, artifacts and historical documents that are in need of conservation.

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology is North Carolina’s only museum dedicated to the study of global cultures. The museum creates awareness of global cultures by collecting, protecting, managing and exhibiting archaeological artifacts, ethnographic objects and visual arts of past and present peoples, and providing opportunities for intercultural learning.