Helen Brown – January 2017

To start the New Year Helen Brown from the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery spoke to the Guild about the collection of textiles they have assembled over the years.  Helen started her talk by explaining that she works part time in the Applied Arts Department and her role is to catalogue and record their textiles. 
Their collection covers samples from all over the world going back to the 1570’s.  The main source of textiles was from Agnus Fry’s collection of 260 pieces which she gave to the Museum in the late 1940’s and Helen showed us correspondence between Agnus and the curator setting out how she would like the pieces displayed.  Agnus came from a large well travelled family (well known for their confectionary business) and was given textiles to add to her collection on their return home.  A lot of the examples came from the Balkans and showed brightly coloured work using a variety of fabrics, threads and stitches.
In addition to this collection there were some 19thC baby’s bonnets, parasols made of lace, church vestments, some embroidered gloves, examples of bead work and a Japanese fireman’s kimono.

In time Helen said she hoped the collection could be made available online for people to look at because, unfortunately it is not currently on display.  It is possible however to make an appointment for a private viewing.

Follow this link to Bristol City Council Museum to read more and to see images of the work.
http://museums.bristol.gov.uk/narratives.php?irn=15258

Report and photos by Ros