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£180,000 grant for Bowes Museum's fashion and textiles gallery
A NORTH-EAST museum has received a £180,000 windfall to set the stage for iconic exhibitions.
The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation has awarded £180,693 to the Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, to further boost the establishment’s fashion and textile gallery.
MUSEUM GRANT: Joanna Hashagen, keeper of fashion and textiles, will be joined by two new members of staff
The grant will enable the museum to employ two new staff members - an assistant keeper of fashion and textiles, and a textiles conservator - both of whom will play a vital role in expanding the curatorial and conservation work of the gallery.
Working alongside Joanna Hashagen, the museum’s Keeper of Fashion & Textiles, the pair will assist in staging exhibitions, conduct research and contribute to managing the existing collection and future acquisitions.
They will play significant roles in the care of items, including the internationally important Blackborne Lace Collection - donated in 2006 by the descendants of Anthony and Arthur Blackborne, who were master lace dealers in 19th century London.
The post-holders will also select and prioritise items for display in the award-winning fashion and textile gallery, taking into account historical importance while weighing up conservation needs.
This will enable greater access to parts of the collection which previously were never on show to the public.
Ms Hashagen said: “In establishing these posts the museum, with this generous support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is investing in the future of a gallery which, since its opening in 2010, has become the leading one of its type in the UK."
They will also help to rotate the displays, both for the benefit of visitors and for conservation reasons and offer support to other regional museums without such provision.
The gallery illustrates the use of textiles in fashionable dress and historic design from the 16th to the late 20th Century.
In 2011, the museum’s fashion and textiles gallery was joint runner-up in the national Heritage Awards for Excellence’s permanent exhibition category.
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