Smithsonian Institution NMNHbl_bordergy_border




Anchorage Loan Conservation Project


Understanding Technology and Preserving Tradition

Conservation staff were fortunate to met Fran reed while she was researching gutskin onjects in the NMNH and NMAI collections at the Smithsonian Institution, and subsequently attended one of her workshops on gutskin to better understand the working properties of the material. Reed had published several papers on construction and adornment of gut and fishskin garments. Non-native consultants, such as Fran Reed, provided invaluable insight on both materials and technology. Following Fran's workshop, project conservators conducted a hands-on reconstruction of methods for preparing and drying hog intestines.


  • fran_at_NMAI
    Fran with gutskin object in the NMAI collections.
  • Kelly_and_Fran
    Fran talks about working properties of intestines.
  • Kelly_w_hog_intestine
    Hog intestines used at the workshop were soaked in water before being manipulated.
  • Gutskin_objects
    Air used to inflate the intestines for dying.
  • Gutskin_tube
    Inflated tube of hot intestines.
  • Gutskin_workshop_03
    Anchorage Conservation Project team working on hog intestines.

Conservation staff were fortunate to met Fran Reed while she was researching gutskin objects in the NMNH and NMAI collections at the Smithsonian Institution, and subsequently attended one of her workshops on gutskin to better understand the working properties of the material. Reed has published several papers on construction and adornment of gut and fishskin garments. Non-native consultants, such as Fran Reed, provided invaluable insight on both materials and technology. Following Fran's workshop, project conservators conducted a hands on reconstruction of methods for preparing and drying intestines.

View the St. Lawrence Island Yupik Gutskin Parka

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