Collections Manager, Clothing and Textiles Collection
“Vlada is the all-important face of the Clothing and Textiles Collection, facilitating access for researchers, fielding media and other inquiries, and delivering tours for members of the public. She is pivotal to the utility of our museum collection within and outside the University of Alberta.”
– Janet Fast, Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Human Ecology
Vlada Blinova has been manager of the Clothing and Textiles Collection since 2008. Vlada is a hands-on teacher who believes in experiential learning, going out of her way to provide opportunities to students, making critical use of the artifacts in the collection.
Not only does Vlada facilitate faculty member access to the collection for object-based teaching and research, she also conducts her own research for exhibition purposes. Her work was highlighted in the well-received 2014/15 exhibition Lois Hole: The Queen of Hugs, dedicated to the life and legacy of the beloved Canadian politician, academician, and entrepreneur, which helped to create a personal connection with the memory of this venerable Albertan. Vlada's other major recent contribution was a rehousing of the quilt collection in 2013, a monumental undertaking that required a great deal of determination, organization, and care.
Vlada researches and processes donations and acquisitions to ensure that accurate collections data is available to both internal and external research audiences, and she also facilitates an important loan program. She also gives tours to hundreds of people on an annual basis.
Vlada often goes above and beyond the call of duty, working with students outside the classroom to inspire them to grand ambitions, supporting graduate students in their research endeavours, and advancing the field of clothing and textiles beyond the collection’s walls. She also manages an active volunteer program and leads engaging community outreach activities, providing meaningful experience for community members and mentoring individuals embarking on their careers. Vlada spearheads every aspect of the management of the Clothing and Textiles Collection, even going so far as to personally hand-sew artifacts for preservation and study.
Adapted from nomination and support letters by Anne Bissonnette, Assistant Professor (Department of Human Ecology) and Curator (Clothing and Textiles Collection), and Janet Fast, Professor and Acting Chair (Department of Human Ecology)