Rachel Sepielli


Master of Arts, History of Design & Curatorial Studies, Parsons/The New School at Cooper Hewitt, 2018
Major: French fashion, 1850-1957; minor: British & Scottish textiles, 1850-1960

Cooper Hewitt Fellow, 2016-2018
The New School Provost’s Scholar, 2016-2018
Grant recipient, Lee B. Anderson Memorial Foundation Fund, 2018

Independent study: Technology & Structure of Works of Art I: Organic Materials (textiles block), taken through New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, 2017

Master of Science, Arts Administration, Drexel University, 2015
Thesis: Alterations—The Effects of Digitization on the Study of Academic Costume Collections

Bachelor of Science, Design & Merchandising, Drexel University, 2005


Brandywine River Museum of Art
Preservation Technician for Historic Properties,  March 2022–present

  • Ensure preservation of collections at museum’s historic sites, including Wyeth family home and artist studios of N.C. and Andrew Wyeth.
  • Recognize changes in object condition and assist with environmental monitoring.
  • Assist with object installations and deinstallations, as well as collection inventories.

Briggs Auction
Cataloguer, June 2021–March 2022

  • Researched, described, and photographed objects ranging from clothing and textiles to ceramics, glass, metals, toys, books, prints, paintings, and photographs.
  • Identified high-value objects. Strategically grouped other items to encourage competitive bidding.
  • Unpacked, repacked, safely handled, and mapped location of objects catalogued.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Assistant Technician (Costume Mounting), January–April 2019

  • Designed and constructed undergarments and supports for yearlong exhibition of costumes from The Crown.
  • Mounted costumes on mannequins, incorporating traditional padding techniques and Fosshape limbs.

Conservation Intern, Textiles and Decorative Arts, July–December 2018

  • Initially hired for seven-week project; later selected for ongoing employment.
  • Moved textiles from hanging storage to archival boxes under supervision of textile conservators.
  • Modified boxes and created custom housing for objects not suited to standard box sizes, including passementerie and mattresses.
  • Organized multiple stages of moves for metal objects to allow for new shelving installation.
  • Tracked and updated location changes for more than 10,000 objects throughout rehousing process.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Curatorial Fellow, Textiles, August 2016–June 2018

  • Assisted with major acquisition from collection of American Textile History Museum during its closure.
  • Researched and wrote more than 100 acquisition justifications consisting of object significance and designer biography.
  • Adapted object and designer research to be featured on museum’s popular Object of the Day blog.
  • Catalogued successful acquisitions in The Museum System (TMS).
  • Conducted research and wrote label and catalogue content for exhibitions.
  • Revised and expanded upon work of curatorial interns.

Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University
Collections Intern, January–November 2018

  • Assist with exhibition research and planning. Dress garments on mannequins with appropriate torso padding and limb supports to ensure safe and convincing presentation of each ensemble.
  • Assisted with remedial conservation efforts after discovery of live moths in temporary storage area. Identified garments in need of freezing. Packed and sealed objects properly in preparation for procedure.

The University of Pennsylvania
Associate Editor, Almanac, February 2015–August 2016

  • Acted as chief copy editor, business manager and alternate for editor-in-chief at university’s journal of record.
  • Collaboratively produced content and layout for weekly 8- to 16-page issues.
  • Planned redesign of 20-year-old website, including transition from Dreamweaver to WordPress.
  • Supervised part-time student assistants.

Drexel University
Admissions Coordinator, Creative Arts Therapies, September 2012–February 2015

  • Increased completed applications by 24% during first year in position through extensive one-on-one counseling.
  • Initiated plan to increase diversity in applicant pool.
  • Enhanced security and efficiency by eliminating hard-copy file review.

Administrative Assistant, Major Gifts, August 2010–September 2012

  • Supported alumni relations, volunteer committees and the solicitation of gifts larger than $2,000, including a celebrity comedy benefit that raised $500,

The Doneger Group
Associate Editor, August 2007–June 2008
Assistant Copy Editor, September 2005–August 2007

  • Managed and approved content for fashion and color forecasting print- and web-based publications.
  • Developed content according to creative directors’ visual cues.
  • Ensured grammatically correct, readable and stylistically consistent copy.
  • Trained and supervised assistant copy editor and web content administrator.


  • Intermediate reading knowledge of French and Spanish
  • Handling, identification, interpretation, and housing of historic garments and textiles
  • Mannequin padding and dressing
  • Exhibition installation and de-installation
  • Digital collections management in The Museum System (TMS) and EMu
  • Adobe Creative Suite


Simpler Times, Cooper Hewitt (October 19, 2017):
This post accumulated 120 social media shares, whereas most entries are shared up to 10 times.

The World on a String, Cooper Hewitt (December 23, 2017): 

Revolt Against the City, Cooper Hewitt (July 29, 2017):

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