Tullie House Museum has announced that it has been successful in a major funding application to the DCMS / Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund to create a stunning new fashion and costume gallery.
The new display will be a major new addition to the galleries at Tullie House, and will transform the visitor experience at the Museum. Tullie House has a stunning collection of over 7,000 pieces of costume. Pieces have been used in many of the Museum’s most popular temporary exhibitions, including ‘Little Black Dress’ (2011), ‘Hartnell to Amies’ (2013) and, most recently, ‘Rayne: Shoes for Stars’ (2018), but this will be the first time since the museum was re-developed in 1992 that there will be a dedicated costume gallery for this beautiful collection.
Funding from DCMS Wolfson will allow vital conservation work to take place on key pieces, many of which have never been on display before. The exhibition will focus on outstanding examples of key fashions and styles dating from 1720 to the present day, particularly women’s fashion and accessories. Nationally significant items will take pride of place in the display, including an outstanding Court Mantua dress dated 1750 – a rare survivor of the most bizarre type of female dress every worn. The exhibition will be brought up to date with a celebration of the diversity of fashion in Carlisle today.
Tullie House Museum Director Andrew Mackay says: “We are delighted that DCMS Wolfson will be investing in this stunning collection of national significance. The grant will allow us to shine a light on a hidden collection whilst also revealing parts of the building’s beautiful original architecture.”
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Michael Ellis said: “Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we are rightly proud of these institutions. The DCMS/Wolfson Fund demonstrates how the government and philanthropic organisations can work together to boost our museum sector.
“We want people up and down the country to enjoy culture and heritage wherever they are. The 35 grants awarded today will make important contributions towards improving the visitor experience; ensuring our wonderful collections are open to as many people as possible.”
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “We are delighted to provide this funding through our longstanding partnership with DCMS – an excellent example of how we as a charity can work together fruitfully with government. We are grateful to DCMS for matching our funding.
“One of the great treasures of this country is the sheer quality and range of our heritage collections – stored and displayed in wonderful museums and galleries. This funding will help to provide even better visitor experiences and greater awareness of these fascinating collections. A particular joy of this funding round has been the impressive mix of the projects supported: from a dress collection at Carlisle’s Tullie House to temporary exhibition space in Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum.”The gallery is expected to be completed in Spring 2020.