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Treasured pieces bring glamour to Temple Newsam House
Nov '08
Temple Newsam House will be showcasing a stunning collection of rare textiles and prints in a new exhibition 'My Most Treasured Pieces' which launches on Tuesday 25 November.

Rare-printed cottons, luscious silks and jewel-like velvets from the Henry Ginsburg Collection will be on show for the first time ever at Temple Newsam. The unique pieces will be displayed alongside a glamorous Vivienne Westwood jacket, once worn by Jerry Hall, which was inspired by an historic fabric of which Temple Newsam holds the original.

Henry Ginsburg was a renowned scholar of Asian art and manuscripts and son of the famous American antique dealer Cora Ginsburg. The Henry Ginsburg Collection was bequeathed to Temple Newsam House and is one of the most significant gifts of textiles to a British museum.

This exhibition showcases the most spectacular items in the Ginsburg bequest. They have been chosen to represent the both the quality and breadth of the collection. Particular highlights include 1700s European brocades, an early ecclesiastical silk and an array of English and French printed cottons. Of particular note is an enormous “scrap book” of historic fabrics which was given to Henry by his mother to encourage him to take an interest in textiles.

Councillor John Procter Executive Board Member for Leisure said: “The historical textiles in this exhibition are stunning and should be seen in person to fully appreciate the detail of the designs. The newly acquired Vivienne Westwood jacket is a real coup for the exhibition and adds a special touch being inspired from the collection.”

Henry Ginsburg's collection first came to Temple Newsam House in a series of gifts spanning over four years. In total the collection comprises of approximately 1,500 objects. On show is the final part of his collection which came as a bequest in December 2007. Henry referred to these as his “treasured pieces” and was those which he considered to be his favourites.

The Vivienne Westwood jacket is made from a print of a famous historic textile called “le Mouton Cheri” –The Darling Shepherdess of which Temple Newsam House holds an original of the fabric. The fabric is known as a “Toile” which came from France and dates to 1785. The “toile” used in the design of the Vivienne Westwood's jacket has risqué scenes of a shepherdess frolicking and cavorting in idyllic meadows. It is typical of the jolly French “pastorale” style of this period. It was given to the museum by Henry Ginsburg in 2005. Both items will be on display.

The Vivienne Westwood jacket comes from the fashion designer's 1999 “La Belle Helene” Collection.

It was sold at Kerry Taylor Auctions at Sothebys on June 15 with the support of a V&A/MLA purchase grant. The sale was in aid of the Emmaus charity for homeless people. It is a significant purchase for Leeds museums and galleries who have a long standing precedent for buying Vivienne Westwood.

My MostTreasured Pieces: Textiles from the Henry Ginsburg Collection runs from 25 November 2008 – 29 March 2009. The show has been generously supported by the Leeds Arts Collections Fund and the Textile Society.

Temple Newsam is one of the country's great historic houses and estates. Situated in 1500 acres of stunning "capability brown" parkland it is home to outstanding collections of paintings, furniture, textiles, silver and ceramics. It has an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events in the house and on the working rare-breeds farm.

Temple Newsam House

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