Public talk: Textiles and the State Bed

Public talk: Textiles and the State Bed

The museum sector is currently gearing up to its annual conference in Nelson in a couple of weeks. I am particularly excited about this year’s conference as one of my most favourite historians is making an appearance as a keynote speaker – Annabel Westman. Annabel is also going to present three public talks (Auckland, Nelson and Wellington) which will be a must for anyone interested in textiles, furnishings and/or English history.

Annabel Westman is freelance textile historian whose clients include heritage bodies such as English Heritage, The National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

At Te Papa, Justine Olsen, Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts and myself, have been lucky enough to be recipiants of a small part of her vast wealth of knowledge as attendees of the Attingham Trust Summer School in the UK, and as such we can recommend her as a fascinating and engaging speaker.

Perhaps fittingly, as we build up to the first English Royal wedding of the century , Annabel’s lecture topic is the sumptuous  ‘State Bed’ – a site of romance, intrigue and most of all, politics.

‘Splendid Magnificence: Textiles and the State Bed in the English Country House’

A remarkable number of state beds survive in the English country house which give a glimpse into a lost world of sumptuous splendour and ceremony. The majority date between 1670 and 1730 when they were regarded as great symbols of prestige and status. Money was lavished on their textile hangings making them easily the single most expensive item of furniture in the fashionable and wealthy household.

Annabel will be speaking at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Monday 11 April, 6pm (09 309 0443),  The Suter Gallery (Theatre), Nelson   Wednesday13 April, 6.30pm (Bookings:  Tel: 03 548 4699) and of course at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre,Wellington  Sunday 17 April, 4.30pm  (Bookings:   Tel: 04 381 7051).

Admission: Public $15 , Friends of MA, Suter, Te Papa and Auckland Museum $10



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