In this blog post, you can gain an insight into the work to support our current display Freedom from: Modern slavery in the capital from Exhibitions Project Manager, Elizabeth Scott: I was up on the museums roof recently, sun in the sky, the smell of tar boiling in a pot, with the aim of inspecting builder’s work boots. It’s not your average day, but when you’re working on exhibitions there never really is a typical day. I was on the roof with the photographer Chris Steele-Perkins who the museum has commissioned to take 11 photographs (a mixture of portraits and representations) […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
Miss Levy’s Wedding Dress
This whole thing started a few years ago when a wedding dress came up at auction. Not being a wedding dress swooner I could nevertheless think of quite a few (entirely rational) reasons why the museum should acquire this particular example. For one thing it was made by Victor Stiebel, one of my favourite London couturiers. Secondly, we do not have enough of his creations (one never does) and they do not come up at auction very often. The dress also had an intriguing mystery inscription. We will get to that in a moment.
Christina Broom: A pioneering photographer
It is almost a year now since I first laid eyes on an extraordinary private collection of photographs by Christina Broom.