Quilt display has Brontes covered

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A Halifax visitor attraction is celebrating the bicentenary of author Charlotte Bronte’s birth this spring.

The Bankfield Museum will host an exhition about the Yorkshire writer and her literary family, designed by Girl With a Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier, who is a keen Bronte enthusiast.

The event is part of a series of activities planned by Calderdale Council to mark the district’s links with the Bronte sisters.

Charlotte’s sister Emily, who wrote the classic novel Wuthering Heights, taught at a girls’ school at Law Hill House, Southowram, and their only brother, Branwell, worked at both Sowerby Bridge and Luddendenfoot railway stations.

The exhibition, called Splendid Shreds of Silk and Satin, is based around the sisters’ interest in needlework and features a quilt made by them together.

The venture is backed by both the Quilters’ Guild and the Bronte Society.

Over 50 local crafters have taken part in a quilt challenge as part of Charlotte’s 200th birthday celebrations, and their creations will be displayed alongside the Bronte quilt, which is on loan to Bankfield from the Bronte Parsonage Museum in their home village of Haworth.

The exhibition opens tomorrow, ahead of Charlotte’s anniversary on the 21st of the month.

Sewing was often referred to in the sisters’ work and in their private correspondence, and the title of the display is a reference to a quote from Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre.

Other historic quilts from the museum’s collection are also on show and the council’s head of neighbourhoods Andrew Pitts is looking forward to visitors learning more about the world-renowned novelists.

“People all over the world will celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s 200th birthday. We’re delighted to be hosting this exciting new exhibition to mark the occasion in Calderdale. We look forward to welcoming local people and visitors from further afield to Bankfield Museum,” he said.

The quilts can be viewed at the council-run museum on Boothtown Road until June 11 during the attration’s opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission is free.