I had a wonderful visit to Gawthorpe Hall yesterday, to see some of their incredible Textiles collection of 30,000 items and learn more about Rachel Kay Shuttleworth. Her collection of lace, quilts and embroidery is from all over the world and she used Gawthorpe as a craft house to teach lace making, embroidery with other textile skills and techniques. Rachel was also very involved in the Arts & Crafts Movement and I hadn't realised that she was a relative of Marianne North, the botanical painter who has a gallery in Kew. (Another incredible woman & the gallery is well worth a visit) They both never married and spent much of their time travelling the world independently with their different passions and clearly must have been very encouraging of each other. Two incredible strong and pioneering women! Rachel became very involved in the local community in Padiham, also nationally in health, welfare and one of the founding members of guiding where she was commissioner, involved and campaigning at national level to start a scouting movement for girls.
So many other fascinating things about the house and family, including a permanent exhibition of the largest loaned out collection in the country from the National Portrait Gallery.
I didn't take any photos of the Gawthorpe textile collection on this visit, but there are a few here of exhibitions by Alice Kettle, Thread Bearing Witness which was recently at the Whitworth and Strands of Place & Time by various artists and both part of the British Textile Biennial, working on themes of migration and cultural heritage.