Angels Project at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives

Once again the Costume Society of America is sponsoring an Angels Project on the day before its Annual Conference and this year the project will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio.  This small museum was founded in 1952, is located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the Ukrainian culture and Immigrant experience.  The museum’s collection includes literature, recordings, photography, and artifacts in addition to approximately 200 to 300 un-housed and un-catalogued textile objects.

The Ukrainian Museum-Archives staff are in need not only of archival supplies, but hands on direction from Angel volunteers who donate their time, skills, and expertise to museums in need.  In May, the Angel Product participants will be vacuuming, photographing, labeling, documenting, and re-housing the costume and textile collection at the museum.

At the request of the Angels Project Committee, University Products has agreed to provide archival materials.  As in previous years, University Products is proud to help in these types of projects.  The company will be donating textile storage boxes, acid-free tissue, label holders, and Pigma pens.

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Archival Three Ring Circus

University Products had a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends at the Washington Conservation Guild Three Ring Circus earlier this month. On Thursday evening, January 7, conservators from throughout the D.C. area came together at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW in Washington D. C.. The meeting is typically the largest of the year with over 100 attendees. Following a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 with vendors that included University Products, conservators had their choice of attending three different sessions. This year, the topics included conservators in social media, imaging and technology and BIG conservation. Representing University Products was John Dunphy, who showcased new magnifying and lighting products.

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University Products Sponsors “Making Mannequins with Fosshape” Workshop

On November 17th and 18th the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted Fosshape Workshops sponsored by University Products, Inc. As part of the 2015 North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) the workshop allowed textile conservators from throughout the world to learn about and work with both Fosshape 300 and 600, donated by University Products. The workshop was led by Shelly Uhlir from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Her presentation showed how they had used Fosshape in numerous exhibits and allowed them to be able to easily, effectively, and accurately create mannequins for their museum. Once the presentation was completed, workshop participants spent the remaining time working with Fosshape. Three stations were set up to work with Fosshape to create torso, head, and hand mannequin pieces. The participants enjoyed the hands on time, allowing them to be both creative and learn how using Fosshape can be of use in their own museums and private practices. Participants were from countries including the U.S., U.K.. Sweden, Denmark, and Australia. All enjoyed learning about and working with Fosshape.
Making Mannequins with Fosshape

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Team UPI: Joanne and Kathy

Joanne Buzzell began in our shipping department 29 years ago.  Today, she is the customer service manager for our Lineco division and is a customer favorite.  When not traveling to visit major accounts or exhibit at trade shows, Joanne enjoys leisure travel with friends, or taking her four granddaughters on adventures.  She has been happily married for 47 years and has two grown children; her son Donald and daughter Becky.



Kathy Monczka serves double duty as a customer service representative for both University Products and Lineco.  She lives with her life partner, Jim, and sons Tyler and Ryan.  In her spare time, Kathy enjoys biking, water aerobics, yoga, boating and fishing.  She also enjoys reading a good book and looks forward to her annual December vacation in Aruba.

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Textile Conservation Conference

logo NATCCUniversity Products will be exhibiting their products at Material in Motion, the 10th Biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) on November 19th and 20th, 2015 from 9 am – 4 pm.  It will be held in the kinetic city of New York. The Fashion Institute of Technology will be the site of two days of presentations and posters that will promote new technology and a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing textile conservators. The conference theme will be further explored through tours and training workshops.  Tours include: the newly renovated Costume Institute, the Department of Textile Conservation and the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata’s studio in Brooklyn; Penn and Fletcher, a custom embroidery workshop in Queens; and l’aviva home, a design studio in Soho.
Experts in the field are leading the workshops:
•“Aqueous Cleaning Methods” with Dr. Richard Wolbers, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Science, Art Conservation Program, University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum;
•“Basic Patternmaking for Costume Exhibition Dressing” with Tae Smith, free-lance textile conservator, professor at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY;
•“Advanced Fiber Identification” with Dr. Denyse Montegut, Professor and Chairperson of the graduate program in Fashion and Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY;
•“Documentation Color Management Strategies” with Scott Geffert, Senior Imaging Systems Manager, Metropolitan Museum of Art Photograph Studio; and
Fosshape•“Making Mannequins with Fosshape” with Shelly Uhlir, Exhibits Specialist, Mountmaker in the Conservation Department at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The NATCC was founded in 1994 as an international forum to share research, theory and practice in the field of textile conservation, and foster collaboration. Though the organization was conceived as a North American venture, it has attracted more global participants with each successive conference and is now an internationally recognized and respected forum for textile conservation. We received 90 abstracts from 25 countries for the 21 spots in this year’s program. We anticipate the largest number of participants to the conference will be from the United States, Mexico, Latin America and Europe.
All who attend bring what they learn from the conference back to their work at home. They find new methods to explore and/or discover suppliers with just the tool or material they need.

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Tale of the Three Dresses

A wedding dress can serve as one of the most symbolic and treasured items of clothing in a woman’s closet. Throughout history, brides have long anticipated the occasion to wear exclusive fabrics and rich materials of a luminous color. Let’s be honest – wedding dress is designed to make every girl feel like a princess!

Specialist textile conservators at the Historic Royal Palaces recently completed a major project to conserve five iconic British royal wedding dresses. These wedding dresses are kept in carefully controlled storage conditions at Kensington Palace, enveloped in many layers of protective and supportive packaging materials. The silk satin wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in 1840 is among one of the most popular dresses in the collection, as it set the trend of white wedding dresses for years to come. If you are seeking the royal treatment for your own special garment, we have some tips and products that will help you conserve your precious gown for years to come!

Unless you want to “trash” your wedding dress (for personal reasons), preserving it is much easier and more affordable than you think! Conserve your gown the way museum professionals do using all archival quality supplies from University Products.

What You Will Need:
• Clean gown. All additional pieces removed and stored separately.
Large textile box. Textile conservators prefer white poly box because it is lightweight yet sturdy, and won’t snag the fragile fabric.
White cotton gloves. Always wear gloves to handle something that can deteriorate from contact with human secretions (yes, even tiny amounts of natural oil that can hide in your fingers. Overtime the invisible “fingerprints” can turn into ugly stains and destroy delicate fabrics.
Unbuffered acid-free tissue paper. Put down a few layers on the bottom of the box, lower the dress, folding it in as few places as possible and place rolls of loosely crumpled tissue paper within the folds. Stuff the sleeves and the area between shoulders with similar “rolls” of tissue paper. Your dress will hold shape and won’t wrinkle from long term storage. Put some more tissue in the corners so the dress won’t move even if the box is being transported. Cover everything on top with a few more loose layers of tissue.
• Add a packet of Silica Gel Desiccant for some internal moisture control.
It is best to store the dress in the conditions that are comfortable for a human! No musty and cold basements or dry and hot attics. Drastic changes in humidity and/or temperature are very very bad for your dress. And our goal is to make it last as long as possible, right?

What NOT to do:
• Don’t try to preserve a dress that is dirty, soiled with sweat, dirt or food.
• Don’t encapsulate the dress in air-less container. Vacuum is not good for the fabric, it will start to deteriorate.
• Do not use boxes with clear windows. They might be pretty, but light will discolor part of the dress that is showing through and it will become different from the rest of the garment.
• Keep away from dust and mold.
• No basements and attics, high humidity or dryness, extreme heat or cold.

What You Should Do:
• Have the gown looked at by a textile preservation specialist or at least professionally dry-cleaned.
• All little rips/snags should be mended, loose threads tied up and hidden. All additional decorations (especially those with metal base) removed and stored separately.
• Obtain a large, acid-free textile box that will easily fit the dress and some tissue paper.
• Handle everything in gloves.

To illustrate this blog post, we used 3 generations of beautiful white dresses, courtesy of one of our treasured #TeamUPI members – Kim. They are her grandmother’s, mother’s and her own wedding gowns. All three were carefully preserved and sent home in archival textile boxes, padded with acid-free tissue paper.

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Team UPI: Bob and Becky

Bob Boydston with owner and founder of University Products, Dave Magoon

Bob Boydston, Senior V.P. In July, Bob will have been with the company 39 years and is the Chief Operations Officer.  Thirty of those years were also spent coaching high school and youth football in the city of Holyoke.  These days you might catch Bob hiking with his dog or out jogging. Otherwise, you will find him relaxing poolside with his wife Barbara or traveling with her to Hampton Beach.  Bob has a reputation at University Products for embracing the holidays with vigor.  He took the mantle of playing Santa Clause from another longtime employee, Jack Dunphy, when Jack retired several years ago.  He credits Jack for showing him how to really embrace the joy of the season and to share it, which he does by visiting private homes, adult day care centers and nursing homes as the jolly old elf.  He also plays Santa at the company’s holiday party.  St. Patrick’s Day is also a favorite holiday and Bob enjoys the Irish Music, the festivities which include the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Road Race, and of course, raising a couple of pints!

Rebecca (Becky) Gonzalez, Manufacturing Leader/Supervisor
– Becky is in charge of the “Books by Hand” product line of University Products’ Lineco division.  She lives with her two sons, Isaac & Nicholas Viscarrondo. Together they are the Three Musketeers!!!  Becky loves spending time with family and friends. She and her family also like to spend time at the Cape, love being on the beach, sitting in the sun and collecting shells. In her free time, Becky likes to hike, bike, workout, be spontaneous and travel.

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Happy Flag Day!

According to all-knowing Wiki, in the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

University Products’ Vice President and General Manager John Dunphy recently had the opportunity to visit Camille Breeze at the Museum Textile Services studio in Andover and took these snap shots. Read MTS’s blog to find out more about Solon Perkins Flag and Mary Baker Eddy Peace Flag projects.

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Our Team: Sheila and Linda

Sheila has been with University Products for 17 years.  She started out as a customer service representative, then worked in the accounting department for a while. Now Sheila is a Customer Service Supervisor, a job that requires a lot of patience and deep knowledge of our products and capabilities. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with family and friends, going to the beach, and curling up with a good book.

Linda Zych has worked in Customer Service Department for the past 20 years. She does the processing of orders, quotes and catalog mailings to our customers. In her spare time, Linda enjoys being with her husband of 43 years Kenneth and watching her two grandchildren, Mari and Rachel growing up. She also likes working in her garden, cooking, loves being at the ocean and enjoys reading a good book now and then.

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Ted Lewis Museum Project

Ted Lewis, known as “The High-Hatted Tragedian of Song,” was born Theodore Leopold Friedman in Circleville, Ohio on June 6, 1890.  Starting in Vaudeville in 1910 as a comic clarinetist, Lewis later moved to New York, formed his own jazz band in 1916, and was one of the first musicians to bring jazz music to the masses. He captured the hearts of audiences for five decades with his trademark battered, old top hat, his clarinet and his immortal catchphrase “Is Everybody Happy?” Unrivaled in popularity from the 1920s to the 1940s, Lewis played to standing room only houses across the country, breaking attendance records and drawing larger audiences than Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.

Over the years, his band included such musical greats as Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey. Ted Lewis also had the first racially integrated cast, with African-American performer Charles “Snowball” Whittier portraying Lewis’s live “shadow” in the popular “Me and My Shadow” routine. Lewis made hundreds of records between 1919 and 1954, appeared in eight motion pictures, on television and in nightclubs until his passing in 1971.

In 1977, the Ted Lewis Museum was founded by Lewis’ widow, Adah Becker Lewis, to pay tribute to one of Ohio’s greatest citizens and one of the most influential jazz musicians. The museum holds and exhibits Ted Lewis’ archives, memorabilia and music library in the only remaining edifice that stood within the original circle of Circleville. Upon his passing, the Smithsonian Institute, Yale and Harvard University all asked for Ted’s collection, but his widow Adah made sure that everything was donated back to his hometown, which Ted fondly referred to as “The Capital of the World.” Admission to the museum is free and it is open every Friday and Saturday, hosting thousands of visitors from throughout Ohio, the U.S., and around the world.

In the last three years, the museum has diligently worked to preserve Lewis’ collection of musical arrangements, a project led by curator Joseph Rubin. In 2012, when Joseph first came to the Ted Lewis Museum as a visitor and inquired upon the collection, he was guided to the basement, full of trunks and boxes of manuscript and printed music. This was the very music used by Ted Lewis and his orchestra from the 1930s to the 1960s, including one trunk used to transport music to England in 1929 when Ted and his band performed a command performance for the King.

After taking in the treasure trove of historic music, Joseph volunteered to sort, catalog, and re-house the collection to be preserved for many years to come. He researched many suppliers of archival materials and selected University Products’ Perma/Dry Document Boxes and Manuscript Folders to house the collection. Then, he began sorting thousands of band parts and full scores for over 500 songs.  The collection now resides in a climate controlled location of the museum, as Joseph continues his work in cataloging, digitizing, and re-housing the archival scrapbook, photographs, and ephemera collections exclusively using University Products folders and boxes.

Through Joseph’s work, these arrangements have been brought back to the stage so that audiences could experience them live as they did back in the 1930-40s. The new Ted Lewis Orchestra and the Ted Lewis Museum presented Rhythm Rhapsody Revue for two performances in June 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.  The performances attracted standing room only audiences and garnered critical acclaim.  This coming June 14th, the Ted Lewis Museum will celebrate Ted Lewis’ 125th Birthday by presenting Ted Lewis & Sophie Tucker: Jazz Jubilee, further exploring gems from this historic collection of musical arrangements.

Many of the collections of big band leaders have been lost to time, thrown away by people who did not appreciate the historical value, or lost in natural disasters. The Ted Lewis Museum is one of the few to hold such a wonderful historic collection that can be enjoyed for years to come.

All photos are copyrighted and property of the Ted Lewis Museum and may not be copied or used for any other purposes.

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