Workshop 6: Early Modern Fashion in the Museum

Friday 26 April 2013

The Bowes Museum, County Durham, UK

This workshop is now closed


Attendance at this workshop is by invitation only.

This curatorial workshop, hosted by Evelyn Welch and Lesley Miller, has grown out of discussions within the museum communities with whom we have worked over the past two years. Most of the collections we have worked with have most of their fashion materials in store; only a small percentage is actually on display. The question of how to show early modern fashion in ways that both protect and respect the original garments and, at the same time, engage contemporary audiences is something that curatorial staff are consistently asking and has been a constant refrain in our HERA project. The V&A is undertaking major renovation of its fashion quarter, while the Design Museum, Copenhagen is considering opening a new section of its building to house a fashion gallery and there is a project underway to establish a fashion museum in Stockholm. We are now bringing together our existing Associate Partners from London, Stockholm and Copenhagen with a number of other international curatorial staff who have recently undertaken fashion redisplays, or who propose to do so in the future, to discuss and consider what and how early modern material might be incorporated into displays and their stories.


The Bowes Museum is located in the market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham in the North East of England. The building was purpose-built in the nineteenth century by John and Joséphine Bowes in the style of a French château to house their collection of fine and decorative arts. It opened to the public in 1892 ( This venue has been chosen for this workshop as it has one of the UK’s most recent new fashion and textiles galleries, which have received much acclaim. The Keeper of Fashion & Textiles at the Bowes Museum, Joanna Hashagen, who has kindly offered the Bowes Museum as a venue will discuss the challenges faced and decisions made in the development of these galleries.


The day’s programme can be downloaded here.

This event is scheduled to finish at 4pm.


A report of this workshop written by one of the bursary students supported can be downloaded here.


A selection of photos from this event can be viewed here.

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