Margaret Geiss-Mooney
Conservator & Collections Management Consultant at In Private Practice


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Margaret Geiss-Mooney


Margaret Geiss-Mooney is an art and object conservator in private practice since 1979. She provides a full range of services including consultation; on-site examination; photo-documentation; technical analysis including microscopy; condition reports; cleaning; stabilizing; treatment; replicas; construction of custom designed supports, forms and boxes; packing; collection care services and preparation for display and/or storage. She can provide recommendations for a full range of media and artifact types (including those based on cellulose, leather, feathers, silk, wool, synthetic and other fibres). Ms. Geiss-Mooney is available for both short-term and long-term projects, on-site and off-site.  She is a National Heritage Responder. She also serves as a CAP Assessor.

She conserves and preserves a wide variety of contemporary, historical, heirloom and antique textiles such as quilts, uniforms, flags, embroideries, fashion, costume accessories, rugs, tapestries, samplers, basketry, upholstered furniture, Native American/First Nations, archaeological, and lace, ranging in size from small to monumental. Her clients include museums, religious organizations, insurance adjusters, the Federal General Services Administration, the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of the Army, libraries, dealers, framers, fire/water restoration firms, private owners and collectors. She has completed contract work for the California Department of Parks & Recreation, the Crocker Art Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum (2020), the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (2018), the Contemporary Jewish Museum (2018), the Oakland Museum of California, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Filoli (a National Trust property), Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center, Mission San Juan Bautista, the Blackhawk Museum, Lucasfilm Archives, the National Museum of Qatar and the CSU-Sacramento Library Special Collections & Archives.

She also offers workshops and lectures to all interested parties, both online and in person (when it is safe to do so). Her topics include the deteriorating factors affecting textiles and how to slow their effects. She wants the audience to have enough background information about conservation recommendations and guidelines so that they can assess for themselves future recommendations and guidelines. She makes a point of recommending low-cost low-tech common sense solutions. Lectures, workshops and webinars were given recently for the FAIC Heritage Responders training webinars (2019), the Napa Valley Quilters, the Museums Association of Montana annual conference, the Marin History Museum, Phoenix Art Museum (AZ), the Bay Area Sampler Guild, the Golden Gate Canvas Workers, the Mt. Tam Quilt Guild and thru the Balboa Art Conservation Center (San Diego, Chico, CA; Eugene, OR [2008-2009], Tempe, AZ; Sacramento, San Diego, CA, Eugene, OR and Seattle, WA [2011]).

Ms. Geiss-Mooney has completed undergraduate and graduate coursework in Textiles/Textile Science from the University of California, Davis. She first became intrigued and then involved with historical textiles and their conservation during her undergraduate years. During the rest of her academic career, Ms. Geiss-Mooney took courses that would enable her to fully understand textiles from the molecule up and so be able to most successfully preserve and conserve our textile heritage and legacy. She also interned at the M.H. deYoung Museum and at the UC-Davis Art Conservation Laboratory. She has worked on staff at the Cloisters/Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

She belongs to the American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (Senior Member); the American Institute for Conservation (Professional Associate since 1992); the Western Association for Art Conservation; the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild (awarded Honorary Member), the Textile Society of America and the Costume Society of America as well as other professional organizations. She served on the Board of Directors of the California Heritage Quilt Project 1985 – 1997. She served also on the City of Petaluma Public Art Committee 2015-2022.


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