Pippa Cruickshank

Conservator of Organic Artefacts

Department: Conservation and Scientific Research


+44 (0)20 7323 8252


Pippa Cruickshank is the Leathersellers’ Company Conservator of Organic Materials. She specialises in the conservation of textiles, in particular archaeological, ethnographic and painted textiles, Inuit sea-mammal gut artefacts and amber. She is the Studio Manager of the Textile and Fibres Studio and responsible for the supervision of staff and interns.

Her special interests include the use of adhesives in textile conservation and textiles made from plant fibres. She also carries out research into the technology, condition, deterioration and appropriate treatment of artefacts, in liaison with scientists, curators and other specialists, and advises on the condition, conservation, storage and display, of a wide range of organic artefacts. She acts as a lead liaison conservator for major galleries, exhibitions and loans.

Current projects

Research into flax and linen in Croatia

Lead conservation liaison for the forthcoming British Museum Thai / Burma exhibition in Room 91, provisionally titled Personal Power and Protection, scheduled to open in September 2014.

Lead conservation liaison for the forthcoming British Museum exhibition provisionally titled One God: Three World Religions in Room 35, scheduled to open in October 2015.

Preparation of two archaeological Egyptian child’s tunics for display, including liaison over how best to display them and how best to aid their interpretation. 

Act as the conservator link in a science PhD research project looking into potential non-aqueous stabilization methods for iron-tannate black dyed textiles

Previous projects 

Research into flax and linen in Croatia

Conservation of Egyptian painted linen shrouds

Re-storage projects of fragmentary prehistoric Swiss Lakes textiles and Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo textiles

Conservator on an archaeological excavation in Jordan, a first–third century AD cemetery site with fragmentary remains of textile and leather shrouds

Conservation of amber, including investigation into suitable adhesives and consolidants in collaboration with scientists.

Spent three months working at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in Ottawa in 1996, as the core of a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship looking into the use of adhesives in textile conservation in Canada

British Museum co-ordinator for the international five-day Professional Development Workshop for textile conservators “Adhesives Today” held in 2002, organised jointly by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Canadian Conservation Institute and the British Museum

Conservation of artefacts from North America including a rare ravens tail blanket and several twined cedar bark cloaks and blankets from the North West Coast of America, a badly degraded North American black-dyed skin bag and a painted caribou skin coat.

Survey of British Museum’s collection of Inuit gut garments and artefacts to assess the collection for condition, necessary conservation treatment and storage

Conservation of Inuit sea-mammal gut parkas

External fellowships/ membership of professional bodies

Churchill Fellow, 1996

Awarded Professional Accreditation from the Institute of Conservation (ICON)

Member of the London-based Textile Focus Group composed of members from principal textile collections-based museums in London.

Recent publications

Pippa Cruickshank, Caroline Cartwright, J. C.H. King and Antony Simpson: ‘An unusual decorated skin coat from Canada: aspects of identification and conservation’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 7 (2013) 95-104.

P. Cruickshank, ‘Flax in Croatia: traditional production methods, the use and care of linen in folk costumes and implications for museum conservation’, Textile History 42/2 (2011) 239-260. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1179/174329511X13123634653983

C. Higgitt, S. Harris, C. Cartwright, and P. Cruickshank, ‘Assessing the potential of historic archaeological collections: a pilot study of the British Museum’s Swiss lake dwelling textiles’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 5 (2011) 81-94

H. Wilson, P. Cruickshank, M. Hacke, R. Stacey, C. Carr, V. Daniels, and M. Rigout, M., ‘Investigation of non-aqueous remedial treatments for iron-tannate dyed textiles’, Ethnographic Collections, 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon ICOM-CC (2011)

P. Cruickshank, and H. Morgan, ‘Lining a banana fibre belt - a cool vacuum table technique’ in Readings in Conservation. Changing views of textile conservation, ed. M.M. Brooks and D.D. Eastop, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles (2011) 501-511

P. Cruickshank, D. Romanek, and V. Saiz Gomez, ‘Arctic survival’, British Museum Magazine 69 (2011) 52-53

H. Cutts, L. Harrison, C. Higgit, and P. Cruickshank, ‘The image revealed: study and conservation of mid-nineteenth-century Ethiopian church painting‘,
British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 4 (2010) 1-17

P. Cruickshank and V. Saiz Gomez, ‘An early gut parka from the Arctic: its past and current treatment’, For ICON-ethno scraping gut and plucking feathers: the deterioration and conservation of feather and gut materials (2009) dancull.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/scraping-gut-and-plucking-feathers/

P. Cruickshank, V. Daniels, and J. King, ‘A Great Lakes pouch: black-dyed skin with porcupine quillwork’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 3 (2009) 63-72

P. Cruickshank and Monique Pullan, ‘Feathered gods go on tour’, Journal of Museum Ethnography 2, Special Issue: Encounters with Polynesia: Exhibiting the Past in the Present, Museum Ethnographers Group (2009) 69-79.

P.Cruickshank, ‘Flax to Linen’, British Museum Magazine 61 (2008) 50-52.

P. Cruickshank, H. Delaunay, and L. Harrison, ‘Painted textiles and canvas paintings: a collaborative approach to lining and mounting’, The Conservator 30 (2007) 5-18

P. Cruickshank, ‘Stingless Fabrics’, British Museum Magazine 57 ( 2007) 48-50.

P. Cruickshank, ‘From Plant to Textile. Nettle Fibre Textiles’, HALI 145 (2006) 64-67.

List of selected publications