Bowes museum reunites two important works

  • 6 September 2010

The Bowes museum has brought together two important art and textile pieces which are to be displayed side by side at the museum for the first time.

The Adam Jacquard woven textile is a key piece in the Barnard Castle museum’s significant Design Award Collection. While conducting background research on the work curatorial assistant Annabel Talbot made a fortuitous discovery: a unique Adam cartoon for the textile by renowned artist Keith Vaughan. The cartoon was for sale by a private collector.

Adam is a unique working preparatory textile design on drawing paper inscribed with explanatory weaving notes. With help from a £10,000 grant from us, alongside £7,000 from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and £5,000 from the Friends of The Bowes Museum, the museum was able to purchase this rare work. It will now be displayed alongside the textile in the Bowes’ new Fashion & Textile Gallery.

Keith Vaughan is considered one of Britain’s most significant post-war painters and his work is becoming increasingly popular. In 1957 he was commissioned by Alistair Morton, Director of Edinburgh Weavers, to create the Adam cartoon. This was translated into the Jacquard woven furnishing fabric and manufactured for the home and export market.

Annabel Talbot said: "Due to the ephemeral nature of preparatory textile designs on drawing paper few examples survive – so the opportunity to show both the design and textile rarely occurs. The acquisition of Vaughan’s cartoon will have a significant effect on the museum’s textile collection. It is a full scale sample of a working drawing of the highest quality that can be shown next to the manufactured Adam textile."

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Press release

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