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Year-long celebration of textiles finds a common thread for arts

Yorkshire Year of the Textile
Yorkshire’s rich textile heritage is providing inspiration for a year of artistic activity.

Harewood is delighted to be a participating partner in The Yorkshire Year of the Textile. In September (date tbc) we will be presenting an unusual event combining flamenco music, poetry and our Axminster carpet!

Yorkshire Year of the Textile, which gets underway this week, reflects on the University’s history.

Its origins lie partly in the Yorkshire College of Science, which was founded in 1874 amid concerns by the local wool and textile industries at the threat posed by new continental technologies.

Awarded £98,500 of Arts Council England funding through its National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme, Yorkshire Year of the Textile is partnering with a wide variety of organisations.

Partners include Calderdale Museums, Harrogate Borough Council, Harewood House Trust, Leeds Museums & Galleries, Marks & Spencer, South Asian Arts UK and the University of Huddersfield.

The project will feature textile and public art interventions, literary and performance strands with textiles as their theme, with events aimed at all ages and open to all.

The programme will include artistic responses across visual art, dance, music and sound as well as exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, lectures and poetry readings.

Professor Frank Finlay, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Leeds, said: “It is hugely exciting to be commissioning an outstanding group of artists, poets and performers, who have all shown such enthusiasm for the project – a year-long celebration made possible by generous Arts Council funding.”


Michelle Dickson, Director North, Arts Council England, said: “I am pleased that we have funded the Yorkshire Year of the Textile through our Grants for the Arts programme.


“It is an excellent example of how a partnership between the arts and cultural sector, local authorities, higher education and the private sector can come together to create a wide variety of experiences for both the local audience and visitors. I look forward to seeing how the work progresses.”


Professor Ann Sumner, the University’s Head of Cultural Engagement, said: “We look forward to building and sharing audiences, as we explore our textile heritage with our partners in new and exciting ways from innovative workshops to early career commissions.”


“Many of the artists are responding to our newly-conserved Man-Made Fibres sculpture by Mitzi Cunliffe in thought-provoking ways – from Sue Lawty’s Textere pavement piece to Jane Scott’s knitted work and Kate Goldsworthy’s intervention, Man Re-Made Fibres.


“Cultural engagement on campus is a key programming strand in the lead up to the launch of our Cultural Institute in October. We hope to transform our campus spaces and encourage more visitors to campus to explore our cultural attractions”

Highlights from the Yorkshire Year of the Textile in June include:

  • A Knit Workshop led by textile artist Elizabeth Gaston at Leeds Wool Festival at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, on Saturday 4 June, 10am-4pm. Participants will learn to hand knit and help create the project’s first ‘community canopy’. A series of such canopies will be displayed across the University campus, as well as at venues including Armley Mills and Halifax’s Bankfield Museum.
  • Two events on Wednesday 8 June: a lunchtime History Threads panel at 12.45pm in the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery looking at William Gott’s important 1815 Pattern Book of Dyehouse Recipes for dyeing wool (pictured above); and a Knit-Lit workshop from 2-4pm at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery with artists Elizabeth Gaston and Jane Scott.
  • Wednesday 15 June: ‘Re-visiting Russell’s Marshall Portraits’ History Threads panel discussion about the John Russell portraits of John and Jane Marshall owners of Temple Works at 12.45pm, Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery.
  • Monday 20 June, at Axminster at Harewood at Harewood House: a debate centring on textile conservation, looking at the issue of balancing conservation ethics with authenticity and aesthetic appearance.
  • From mid-June, at ULITA – an Archive of International Textiles on the Western Campus, The Synthetics Revolution exhibition explores man-made fibres and everyday fashion through the collections of the School of Design’s Yorkshire Fashion Archive and ULITA. The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with The Enterprise of Culture, a pan-European collaborative research project based in the School of History that examines the history of the fashion business. It is funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area).
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  • From Monday 27 June, Revolutionary Fabrics, at the M&S Company Archive on the Western Campus, will showcase a hand-picked selection of Marks & Spencer garments from the archive to tell the story of how new ‘wonder’ fabrics such as Crimplene (named after Harrogate’s Crimple Valley near the ICI lab where it was developed), Bri-nylon and Tricel had a huge impact in post-Second World War clothing.
  • An exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery about artist Mitzi Cunliffe’s work. She created the huge Man-Made Fibres sculpture that adorns the Clothworkers’ South building. A celebration event on Wednesday 29 June will mark its 60th anniversary.

Read more at Leeds Universities website: www.leeds.ac.uk

A Royal Weekend at Harewood in Yorkshire

In Yorkshire, Harewood House hosts Antiques Fairs

A Cartier silver cigarette case with its red leather presentation case both bearing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s crest, 1960, POA from T Robert

Over the weekend of Her Majesty The Queen’s official 90th birthday, The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited returns to stage The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood. Supported by Knight Frank Harrogate, the fair opens in The Marquee, Harewood House, Harewood, near Leeds, West Yorkshire LS17 9LQ from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 June 2016 in the spectacular Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscape in which Harewood House nestles.

To mark the royal birthday, exhibitors are bringing items with regal connections. T Robert has a Cartier silver cigarette case, in its red Cartier box, both complete with the royal crown insignia.  Presumably this was presented to someone by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but it appears it has never been used, as it is in mint condition, POA. Mark J West is bringing a pair of Royal Brierley Crystal presentation goblets made to commemorate the 1937 coronation of the Queen’s father, King George VI, priced at £500 the pair. These would have been made rather hurriedly, following the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII.

Visit Harewood House in Yorkshire to see antiques

English enamel patch box depicting Princess Charlotte, c1816-17, £895 from JA Yarwood Antiques

A regal name in vogue at the moment is Princess Charlotte. New exhibitor JA Yarwood Antiques, from Skipton, has an early 19th century English enamel patch box, c1816, priced at £895. This rare box depicts Charlotte, Princess Royal (1766-1828), eldest daughter of King George III, who married Prince Frederick of Württemberg. Another royal piece, an exceptionally rare pressed horn snuff box, has a lid modelled after the portrait of George I, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, which still bears traces of the original gilding, c1714-27, selling for £765.

Visit Yorkshire to see Harewood House and antiques

Historic document fragment with the signatures of four of King Charles I’s regicides, £575 from Odyssey

Antiquities specialist Odyssey is bringing an impressive selection of royal autographs, all beautifully framed, such as King George V’s signature, £90; King Edward VIII’s, dated 1920 when he was still the Prince of Wales, £120 and also one from Prince Frederick, Duke of York, second son of King George III, £110.  Prince Frederick was the famous Grand Old Duke of York and was responsible for licking the army into shape by forced marches and endless drills, immortalised in the well-known rhyme. More gruesome, but an important piece of history, is a document fragment  bearing the signatures of four of King Charles I’s ‘regicides’, two of which signed the Warrant of Execution and two of the trial judges, together with the full biography of each person, priced at £575.

From Freshfords Fine Antiques comes a Regency George IV amboyna and rosewood side table, attributable to Morel and Seddon, c1826, £14,860. George Seddon formed a partnership with cabinetmaker and upholsterer Nicholas Morel to fulfil one of their contracts: to make furniture for Windsor Castle. They worked almost exclusively for the crown, particularly at Windsor, but also at other royal residences.

Ingrid Nilson, director of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited said, “At this year’s fair, we are launching an affiliation with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, that funds the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-on-one training with masters. This will be ongoing with our fairs well into the future.”

First time exhibitors, amongst the 30 stands, this year include Lancashire based jewellery specialists Howell 1870, vintage watch dealer Timewise and Morgan Strickland Decorative Arts from London and JA Yarwood Antiques, who are joining other returning Yorkshire based dealers FJ & RD Story Antique Clocks, Jack Shaw & Co, Nicholas Daly Books and TL Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration, as well as others from the length and breadth of the country.

Visit Yorkshire and Harewood House to enjoy the Antiques Fair

Tudor Crystal mosaic glass cream jug and sugar bowl with silver mounts, London 1921, £760 the pair from Mark J West

As we head into the English summer of strawberries and cream, Mark J West‘s Tudor Crystal mosaic glass cream jug and sugar bowl with silver mounts fits perfectly with its juicy red fruits hanging from green foliage, London 1921, £760 the pair. Ripe fruits often attract creepy crawlies, but people cannot fail to be charmed by the selection of gold and precious gem set insect brooches, c1895-1900, priced between £885 and £1,250 from T Robert.

Visit Yorkshire to see Antiques at Harewood House

Small maquette by Henry Moore, bronze, edition of 9, £61,360 from Richwood Fine Art

Other highlights to be found at this annual event include a small bronze maquette of a seated figure by Henry Moore (1898-1986), from the Marlborough show of 1963, 15cm high, edition of 9, 1960, priced at £61,360 from Richwood Fine Art and Oh Jane, it is Bad News, oil on canvas board by Helen Bradley (1900-1979), 15.25″ x 13.6″, £39,000, also from Richwood Fine Art. Helen Bradley neatly wrote a story for the grandchildren, which can still be found verso.

Visit Yorkshire to enjoy the Antiques Fair at Harewood

English double fusée bronze and ormolu mounted mantel clock by F Baetens, c1825, £5,950 from FJ & RD Story Antique Clocks

New exhibitor, Timewise, joins the fair with a selection of watches including a vintage Rolex Oyster Precision steel watch with a white dial in the sought-after ‘Explorer’ design, priced at £2,790. Sticking with timepieces, clocks always bring a room to life and FJ & RD Story Antique Clocks has a diverse collection catering for most tastes, amongst which is an English double fusée bronze and ormolu mounted mantel clock by F Baetens, London, c1825, priced at £5,950 and a fine quality figured walnut longcase clock by William Allam of London, c1750, £12,000. Examples of Allam’s work were exhibited at the Guildhall Museum in London, founded in 1826.

Dating back around 70 million years, the oldest piece to be found at the fair is a dinosaur egg, measuring around 15cm, £550 from antiquities dealer Odyssey. This impressive fossilised egg is from a Therizinosaurus, which roamed the earth during the late Cretaceous period.

Visit Harewood House in Yorkshire to enjoy antiques

Pair of Staffordshire pottery cockerels, 12” high, c1870, POA from Carolyn Stoddart-Scott

Jack Shaw & Co returns with a fine collection of silver, including a pair of French claret jugs by the renowned Parisian silversmith Emile Puiforcat, c1880, £4,500 and a pair of old Sheffield plate wine coolers, c1825, £3,500.  Ceramics specialist, Carolyn Stoddart-Scott always has a decorative mix of fine English and Continental pieces. Amongst the porcelain she is bringing is a pair of puce mark Derby plates with yellow border and sprig decoration, c1800, and a pair of 12 inch tall pottery cockerels, c1870, both POA. JA Yarwood Antiques is also showing a collection of fine quality Japanese items, including a late Edo – early Meiji period hand carved ivory netsuke showing Ashinaga and Tenaga, signed, Japan, c1860, £3,785.

Antiques fair ticket holders gain complimentary access to Harewood’s grounds, gardens and Below Stairs.  For £5 each, (saving £11.50 on an Adult Freedom ticket) fair visitors can upgrade to see the State Rooms and current exhibitions marking the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth. Harewood House’s exhibitions and activities include The Art of Landscape which presents a full and fresh assessment of the cultural influence of the ‘Capability’ Brown design at Harewood.  Great Capabilities; a celebration of “Capability” Brown at Harewood takes place from 4 to 12 June, celebrating the achievements of the great landscape designer at Harewood in a series of walks, talks and exhibitions.

For those seeking advice about the care of antique furniture, look no further than T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration, the north Yorkshire based company that has been responsible for working on some of the Chippendale furniture and a dining table in Harewood House in the past. A current project includes tidying up the damaged polish on a grand sized dining table from a royal household, made by Holland & Sons, as well as some matching chairs and side tables.

Even the caterers, The Yorkshire Party Company, who are providing light refreshments in The Marquee, have been inspired by the royal birthday and ‘Capability’ Brown’s anniversary year. The fair is supported by Knight Frank, Masons Yorkshire Gin and Wilson Mitchell & Co. Ltd, senior partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

Read more about the Antiques Fair 

Headline Chefs to Attend the Great British Food Festival at Harewood House

Great British Food Festival at Harewood

This May bank holiday (28th May – 30th May) sees the return of the Great British Food Festival to Harewood House. Along with wonderful food and drink producers, there will be headline chef demos, foodie talks, and terrific live music to enjoy from the North Front.

The Chef Demo stage once again welcomes great names from the world of cookery including Howard Middleton, Luis Troyano and Sandy Docherty, finalists and contestants from the Great British Bake Off. Be inspired by the wonderful treats our experts create!

Luis, Sandy and Howard will also be judging the popular Great British Cake Off, where amateur bakers compete head-to-head in three baking categories (see www.greatbritishfoodfestival.com for details and to enter). Best of all, you get to try the entries! Luis Troyano said,

I love doing the demos and the cake off is great fun, it’s brilliant to see what the public can do!

The Bake Off stars will also be heading to the new ‘Cake & Bake’ stage, introduced for the 2016 event. Hear from our celebrity chefs and discover their culinary secrets in a more interactive and intimate arena. Get your own foodie questions answered and finally avoid the dreaded soggy bottom or get the perfect biscuit snap!

Dan Maycock, Festival Director, said,

We’re thrilled to announce the great chefs at this year’s event. The new addition of the “Cake & Bake” stage is something we’re excited to see come to life. We hope that people will head over to Harewood and lap up the wonderful atmosphere this event brings.”

Alongside the celeb chefs, some of the best regional talent will be showcasing their skills; from baking tips to fine dining know-how, the Demo Theatre is the place to be for any budding chef!

Food Festival at Harewood House

Lots of local producers will also be showcasing the best in seasonal, and specialty food and drink. Pulled pork, prime steak and local sausages are just a few of the flavours you can enjoy. For those with less traditional tastes, why not sample an ostrich burger or enjoy tasty Thai and Caribbean flavours? Sample, enjoy and buy!

Enjoy a quintessential English day out at the Great British Food Festival. The perfect recipe for a fun, foodie day out for the whole family.


Visit the Great British Food Festival’s listing for more details.

Harewood House and Grounds Closed for Filming

Harewood House is a filming location

Over the winter months, Harewood House was used as a location for the new ITV period drama, Victoria. The programme chronicles the life of Queen Victoria and has been filmed in locations throughout Yorkshire. Both the State Floor and Below Stairs at Harewood have been used for what promises to be a fascinating series.

As they continue to film, Harewood has once again been chosen as a location for this production. In order to facilitate the external shots required, Harewood will close completely on Wednesday 11th May. There will be no access to Harewood for members or visitors. This will allow the production company to introduce a large green screen to the front of the House transforming Harewood digitally from the country house to a palace!

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Once the programme airs, we will update you with lots of behind the scenes pictures and news.

Best wishes,

Harewood House Trust
0113 218 1001

A day in the life of the Bird Garden team

Visit Yorkshire to see our Bird Garden

I took on my role as Bird Garden and Farm Experience Manager in December 2015, joining Harewood from Edinburgh Zoo. As manager, it’s my responsibility to oversee the daily running of the Bird Garden and the newly created Farm Experience. It’s an exciting, busy part of Harewood which is at the start of a three year development plan to enhance this much loved part of the grounds.

My day begins at 8am when I arrive at the Bird Garden kitchen with the rest of the team. The Bird Garden is home to 37 different bird species which all have specific dietary needs. From the tall, elegant cranes to the critically endangered Bali starling, we make sure each bird has the right food. We also prepare buckets of chopped carrots, apples, pears and leafy greens for our rabbits, guinea pigs and farm animals.

Once prepared, we head to the Bird Garden and begin the task of feeding and cleaning all the aviaries. We check all the birds to make sure that they are in good health whist we’re in the enclosures before the visitors arrive. One of my personal favourites in the Bird Garden are our family of palm cockatoos. These are unusual birds and it’s the first time I’ve worked with them. The youngest of the three birds is very inquisitive and he will often fly around the keepers, watching them closely as we clean and prepare the large aviary.

At this time of year we often find nests full of eggs which we will leave with parents to look after. On some occasions it may be necessary to take the eggs carefully to our artificial incubation room. Here we place them in specially designed incubators and hand rear any chicks that might hatch.

Once all of the birds are fed and checked, we go for a well- earned cup of coffee!

The next job is to clean out the farm animal paddocks and give them their first feed of the day. At 12pm, one of the keepers will take a bucket of eggs, veg and fruit to the pig enclosure. Here we invite visitors to take an item from the bucket and throw it over the fence for the pigs to enjoy. They are full of character and, since their arrival in March, I’ve grown very fond of them. Once the pigs have had their fill, we move onto the next paddock. Once again visitors can feed leafy greens to our hungry pygmy goats.

After lunch, I often leave the Bird Garden and Farm in the capable hands of the team and head over to the office to carry out the necessary (and inevitable!) paperwork for the day. This includes record keeping, ordering supplies, planning for upcoming events, liaising with the vet, managing new arrivals and arranging transportation of animals who may be leaving our care.

A significant role for the Bird Garden is the care and preservation of endangered species. Many of the birds we manage are in captive breeding programmes which supports their ongoing survival. These breeding programmes exist to support the genetic variation of captive populations. Computer databases help compile studbooks that record the details of each individual animal in the programme. This includes the animal’s sex, date of birth, and full family history. No money changes hands when we exchange animals with other zoos. Our aim is purely to save and protect endangered wildlife.

We have welcomed several new additions including six Humboldt penguins which arrived in early March from the Cotswold Wildlife Park in Oxfordshire. We also took on an egg which our colony have adopted. We hope that this foster-chick will hatch soon.

Other new additions include a pair of cheer pheasants which form part of our Himalayan themed enclosures overlooking the Lake, and a large group of roul roul partridge, an appealing, ground dwelling bird from Borneo.

When I’m in the office, it’s also the time that I catch up with the rest of the team who work outside the Bird Garden. The team at Harewood have a lot to juggle from school groups to TV interviews!

At 3:30pm, I will head back to the Bird Garden to carry out the Daily Penguin Talk and often find myself introducing not only the penguins, but also the wild grey herons and red kites that visit the enclosure hoping they might help themselves to a sprat or two!

Once I have answered the varied and interesting questions from visitors, I will either head back to the office, or carry out a variety of tasks around the Bird Garden until it is time to close for the evening. Every day there are new and exciting challenges arriving, so no two days are ever the same.

By Nick Dowling, Bird Garden and Farm Experience Manager