The Royal School of Needlework is celebrating its 150th anniversary!
To mark the milestone, the international centre for the art of hand embroidery will be holding a unique exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London. The exhibition, 150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework: Crown to Catwalk, will explore the RSN’s contribution to the world of embroidery and showcase its remarkable history.
Image: Coat of arms hand embroidered by RSN apprentices in 1987
In 1872, the Royal School of Needlework was founded on two key principles – the first, the preservation of hand embroidery as an art form and the second, the support of women’s independence through work. In the intervening 150 years, the RSN’s journey towards these goals has taken many unexpected forms and featured countless high-profile projects.
The exhibition will include collaborations with the great names of the Arts and Crafts movement, commissions produced for the British royal family, contemporary works created for top, international designers and pieces by the RSN’s talented students. Presenting textiles from the Royal School of Needlework’s own 5,000-piece archive, alongside examples from museums and collections across the UK, this in-depth retrospective will display the often-surprising history of one of the UK’s oldest and most revered applied arts organisations.
Image: RSN goldwork sampler for the for the Queen's Coronation Robe of State, 1953
Alongside will run a series of online talks to celebrate the anniversary. First will be a complementary talk launching the exhibition which will be a first opportunity to see what is on in the show, and a chance to learn more about the stories behind the fascinating objects showcased.
Image: detail from the RSN Grove book
In the coming months there's a whole host of live online events to explore. From wedding embroidery, to the 'salve of sewing', there are fascinating topics to discover illustrated by rare pieces from the RSN Collection.
150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework: Crown to Catwalk will run from 1 April - 4 September at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London. Find out more here: www.fashiontextilemuseum.org
Find out more about RSN live online events: Online Talks & Exhibitions | Royal School of Needlework | Embroidery