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150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework: Crown to Catwalk

Start Date 01 April 2022
End Date 04 September 2022
Venue Fashion and Textile Museum
Location London, U.K.
Curator Dennis Nothdruft in collaboration with Dr Susan Kay-Williams

In 1872, the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) 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.

150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework will explore this historic organisation’s contribution to the world of embroidery. The exhibition will present 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.

The exhibition is curated by Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum, in collaboration with Dr Susan Kay-Williams, chief executive at the Royal School of Needlework.

This exhibition is accompanied by the book An Unbroken Thread: Celebrating 150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework by Susan Kay Williams and a selection of RSN-led workshops and drop-in sessions including sessions for the family.