These items from Bankfield Museum are being loaned out for a special exhibition in London

The opanke shoes Edith wore while travelling, her sketchbook and other artefacts from the collection.
The opanke shoes Edith wore while travelling, her sketchbook and other artefacts from the collection.

Bankfield Museum in Halifax is loaning items from its textile collection to feature as part of a new exhibition at Two Temple Place in London.

The Halifax museum is loaning 26 items from its Edith Durham collection to feature in Two Temple Place’s 2020 exhibition, Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles.

The exhibition tells the story of seven pioneering women who went against all established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and global public collections in the UK today.

Edith Durham was an anthropologist and collector of Balkan textiles who donated her collection to Bankfield museum in 1935.

The items on loan from Bankfield were all collected by Durham during her travels around the Balkans.

They include iconic pieces such as a black and gold embroidered Albanian ladies Guibba, the opanke shoes Edith wore while travelling, her sketchbook, photograph album and letters.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Councillor Susan Press, said: “The Balkan artefacts collected by Edith Durham on her fascinating and intrepid travels give a rare insight into the customs and cultures of Albania from a time when few were able to visit.

“The items are now part of Calderdale’s extensive textile collection and it’s wonderful that they’ll feature as part of a high profile exhibition at London’s Two Temple Place.”

Calderdale Council’s museums service has been working with Two Temple Place and the exhibition’s curator, June Hill, to select the objects and also look at their conservation.

June Hill said: “We’re thrilled to be able to include these amazing pieces in Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles.

"One of the aims of the exhibition programme at Two Temple Place is to provide legacy for the collections featured, partly in making pieces exhibition-ready by reframing paintings and mounting costume, but also by highlighting the remarkable museums where these exhibits are held.

“I’m sure people will be making plans to visit Bankfield in person once they’ve experienced this little taster of what the museum has to offer. It’s been a pleasure working with Bankfield on this and we’re grateful to Calderdale Council in making this possible.”

The items on loan will return to Bankfield in late April 2020 and will be on display in the museum’s Fashion Gallery from early 2021.

The Fashion Gallery takes up the entire top floor of Bankfield Museum, showcasing centuries of fabulous fashions and textiles.

It includes many items from Calderdale’s textile collection, which began in 1887 and now contains over 17,000 objects from all over the world. Visitors are able to find out more about the history behind this world-class collection and discover how it came to be in Halifax.