About The Met/ Conservation and Scientific Research/ The Costume Institute Conservation/ Meet the Fellows

Meet the Fellows

The Costume Institute Conservation

Three images in a horizontal row. Left image shows ten white fabric samples in two columns on a black table with white checkered lines and one blue glove in the bottom right of the image. Center image shows a light pink slip with a yellow lace hem and thin straps on a dress form. The right image is a close-up of two hands in blue gloves handling a square of aluminum foil with letters denoting sampling locations layered over a piece of white nylon fabric as it is being analyzed with a grey, shoe-box-sized spectrometer.

Left: Preparing ten vintage nylon fabric samples for experimentation; Center: This non-museum vintage slip is an example of a garment made from nylon; Right: Analyzing vintage nylon fabric samples with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, using a labeled aluminum foil template to track sampling locations. 

2022 – 2023 Fellow

Kris Cnossen, The Gerald and Mary Ellen Ritter Memorial Fellowship

Kris Cnossen is a junior fellow at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. They graduated from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, specializing in textiles with a focus in modern art and materials. They previously interned at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, where they assisted in the preparation and completed treatments for the 2022 Stephen Sprouse exhibition. Kris has also interned at the St. Louis Museum of Art, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Toledo Museum of Art, Mountain States Art Conservation, and the Maryland Center for History and Culture. After their fellowship, Kris will be starting a private practice in Michigan.

Selected Publications

Sanchez, Sarah, Sarah Nunberg, Kris Cnossen, and Matthew Eckelman. “Life Cycle Assessment of Anoxic Treatments for Cultural Heritage Preservation.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 190, Article 106825 (March 2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106825.

Camp, Annabelle, and Kris Cnossen. “Mixing Solutions: Combining Paper and Textile Approaches to Treat Iron-mordanted Printed Cotton.” Paper presented at the 50th American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California, May 13–18, 2022.

Camp, Annabelle, and Kris Cnossen. “Dyes, Paints, and Inks: An Overview of Visual Compensation Techniques in Textile Conservation.” Paper presented at the 6th International Meeting on Retouching of Cultural Heritage, Valencia, Spain, November 4–6, 2021.

Inconspicuous Plastics: What is the Potential for Damage When Cleaning Vintage Nylon?

Kris Cnossen
A white person and a white nightgown on a dress form are shown from the waist up against a background of beige metal cabinets. The person has buzzed brown hair, round glasses, and gauged ears and is wearing a black lab coat. The nightgown has a pretty lace bodice, natural waistline, and a lightly gathered skirt.

Kris Cnossen with the non-museum vintage nylon garment from which they took fabric samples for their research.

Nylon is relatively under-researched by conservators and untested by time. Kris is spending their year at The Costume Institute on an experiment to understand the potential for damage to vintage nylon during wet cleaning. Cleaning involved bathing the samples using traditional textile conservation methods. Nylon samples taken from a non-accessioned vintage garment were analyzed in collaboration with the Department of Scientific Research before and after cleaning to track whether damage occurred to the nylon. The samples were then artificially aged in collaboration with the Scientific Research & Analysis Department at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library and analyzed again to see how the vintage nylon would age. The results of the analysis will be published in a future journal.

Past Fellows

Preserving Plastics in Fashion Collections: Assessment, Analysis, and Long-term Storage in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute
Kaelyn Garcia

Kaelyn’s work, in collaboration with the Department of Scientific Research, focused on synthetic materials in The Costume Institute collection that had begun to deteriorate, with the goal of improving storage, documentation, and display practices. An initial survey of the collection to categorize plastic materials using instrumental analysis, including plastic buttons and zipper fasteners, gave rise to a subsequent study of the paints employed by Elsa Schiaparelli and analysis of surface efflorescence on buttons used by couturier Mainbocher. After concluding a real-time ageing experiment begun by previous fellows, Kaelyn developed and implemented new anoxic PVC-P and polyurethane storage protocols to prolong the life of these materials.